Instant Messaging (IM) at Workplace
Exchanging text messages in real time between two or more people logged into a particular instant messaging (IM) service. Instant messaging is more interactive than e-mail because messages are sent immediately, whereas e-mail messages can be queued up in a mail server for seconds or minutes. However, there are no elaborate page layout options in instant messaging as there are with e-mail. The basic operation is simple: type a brief message and press Enter (www.thefreedictionary.com).
Instant messaging services may also provide video calling, file sharing, PC-to-PC voice calling and PC-to-regular-phone calling. Instant messaging has promoted IP telephony because the IM software makes it easy to switch from "text chat" to "voice chat" if the user has a headset or microphone and speakers. “Social networking tools such as instant messaging (IM), blogs and wikis are widely adopted in society. IM is characterized by the immediate receipt of messages, allowing effective and efficient communication between interlocutors” (Ou & Davison, 2011, p.1).
The IM Services
Instant messaging (IM) became popular after Israeli-based ICQ introduced its service in 1996, which was later acquired by AOL. The major IM services are AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber and Microsoft's incarnations: MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. See AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. Although third-party IM clients such as Trillian (www.ceruleanstudios.com) and Simple Instant Messenger (http://sim-im.berlios.de) were designed to interface with multiple IM services, the IM clients from the IM service itself were always proprietary to that service. Google changed that practice by basing Google Talk on the open XMPP protocol used in Jabber, which is supported...