Instant messaging lets people send instant messages (text-based conversation) to each other over a network, such as across the internet by means of the relevant instant messaging software application.
There are many systems available (MSN, Google Talk etc) unfortunately they may not be compatible with one another because each company wants to format their messages in a specific way and can see no advantage in letting other IM services have access to their 'clients'.
There are software applications that try and bridge this gap (search Google).
Instant messaging may also be present on company intranets that allow employees to communicate with one another rather than email.
Another common use of instant messaging are the customer support services that appear on some organisations' website. Typically this provides an 'instant chat' service with an online (human) assistant paid to help you.
Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you
Click on this link: Instant Messaging