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Chapter 25. Enterprise Instant Messaging

Chapter 25. Enterprise Instant Messaging

Not since Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 has there been a communications revolution as significant as instant messaging. It is a technology that facilitates real-time, one-to-one communication. Instant messaging (or IM, as it is now commonly referred to) initially allowed the exchange of simple text messages over a network. IM has grown to encompass different instant communications applications and devices, including voice over IP (VoIP), voice conferencing, pagers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cellular phones. What began as a consumer fad morphed into an online phenomenon as IM established a pervasive presence among consumers and businesses alike.

According to Jeff Tyson (www.howstuffworks.com), IM became ubiquitous in the late 1990s. The technology originated as early as the mid-1980s as a real-time communication feature in online bulletin boards and IRC chatrooms. As common interest groups, chatrooms, and bulletin boards became virtual online communities of people who wanted to chat directly and immediately about their passions, IM began to foster a sense of immediacy.


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