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An instant messenger is a computer application which allows instant text communication between two or more people through a network such as the Internet.
An instant messenger is a client which hooks up to an instant messaging service. Instant messaging differs from email in that conversations happen in realtime. Also, most services convey an "online status" between users, such as if a contact is actively using the computer. Generally, both parties in the conversation see each line of text right after it is typed (line-by-line), thus making it more like a telephone conversation than exchanging letters. Instant messaging applications may also include the ability to post an away message, the equivalent of the message on a telephone answering machine.
Popular instant messaging services on the public Internet include AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, .NET Messenger Service and ICQ. These services owe many ideas to an older (and still popular) online chat medium known as Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
Instant messaging has arisen in parallel in many places, and each application has its own protocols. This has led to users running many instant messaging applications simultaneously to be available on several networks.
On December 19, 2002, AOL Time Warner announced that they had been issued a United States patent for instant messaging, but they also said that they had no plans on enforcing their patent at the present time.
The term "instant messenger" is a Service Mark of AOL Time Warner and may not be used in software not affiliated with AOL. For this reason, the instant messaging client formerly known as GAIM or gAIM is now only to be referred to as Gaim or gaim. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_messenger [Jul 2004]
A chat room is an online forum where people can chat online (talk by broadcasting messages to people on the same forum in real time). Sometimes these venues are moderated either by limitting who is allowed to speak (not common) or by having moderation volunteers patrolling the venue watching for disruptive or otherwise undesirable behavior.
Chat systems include Internet Relay Chat (IRC) (where rooms are called "channels"), Jabber, and several proprietary systems on the Microsoft Windows and Java platforms.
Some chat rooms go beyond text messages incorporating 2D and 3D graphics with avatars (these types of systems are also referred to as visual chat or virtual chat). Two examples of 2D chat rooms are The Palace and more recently The Manor (http://www.madwolfsw.com/). These environments are capable of incorporating elements such as games and educational material most often developed by individual site owners, who in general are simply more advanced users of the systems.
Some chatroom (http://www.pictari.com/) sites incorporate audio and video communications, an example of this kind is:Bluesky Chatroom (http://chat.bluesky.com.cn). People may chat in audio and watch each other there.
Lesser known is the UNIX based talker and the French Minitel.
Chatrooms (http://www.pictari.com/) are often confused (especially by the popular media) with discussion groups, which are similar but do not take place in real time and are usually run over the World Wide Web.
Recently much chat room (http://www.pictari.com/) and instant messaging (http://www.pictari.com/) technology has begun to merge as the dominance of the big three instant messaging providers (AOL, Yahoo, and MSN) have tied chat rooms (http://www.pictari.com/) directly into their instant messaging interfaces. This centralization trend is likely to continue to dominate the chat (http://www.pictari.com/) world as these providers begin to merge their services and cooperate in their IM and chat protocols. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chat_room [Feb 2005]
Interactive Television [...]
Proposal to combine Instant Messaging with Interactive Television using the online status (or presence) feature. The online status is switched "on" if two people are watching the same program at the same time. --jahsonic [Jul 2004]
OpenTV and Tencent Partner to Develop Instant Messaging Services Over Interactive TV in China
SHENZHEN, China, Jun 26, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Partnership Expected to Combine Interactive Television With Multi-Platform Instant Messaging Technology in China
OpenTV (Nasdaq and AEX: OPTV), the world's leading interactive television and media solutions company, and Tencent, the service provider behind China's most popular instant messaging service, "QQ," are joining forces to develop interactive TV and instant messaging services to be delivered to TV network operators and their subscribers in China.
The solution to be developed by OpenTV and Tencent is expected to provide TV network operators the option of launching a service that will allow subscribers to send and receive messages between televisions and other devices such as mobile phones, PCs and wireless pagers. Once developed, this solution would give TV network operators in China an opportunity to allow viewers to access instant messaging services from the TV set and thereby enable a more interactive program viewing experience.
"As a communication tool, instant messaging has grown at a considerable pace in China. By linking this growing market with the television, we believe we can offer network operators an important new value-add application with the ability to attract and retain new subscribers and generate new revenues," said James Ackerman, CEO of OpenTV.
Pony Ma, CEO of Tencent, said, "QQ is growing rapidly and we continuously explore ways to better serve our customers. Tencent is now developing technology and services to allow QQ to be accessed across multiple platforms, including the PC, mobile and, now, television environments. We believe that partnering with OpenTV, the global leader in providing interactive television solutions, will allow us to more rapidly extend our instant messaging service to television sets in China and strengthen our partnerships with Chinese cable television network operators and consumers."
Tencent is China's leading instant messaging services provider, with its QQ platform serving over 18 million active users. Over 500 million messages are currently delivered across the QQ platform on a daily basis. OpenTV has been building up partnerships in Asia Pacific since 1998 and is the most widely deployed interactive television solution in the region. OpenTV currently has 12 cable, satellite, digital terrestrial and ADSL network partners in Asia.
"We are bringing together two industry leaders who, using their combined skills and product offerings, have the potential to provide a compelling proposition to China's network operators and consumers," said Ackerman --http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=optv&script=410&layout=0&item_id=186117 [Jul 2004]
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