Instant Messaging

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Related terms: AIM, Y!M, ICQ
See also: Fandom and the Internet
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Instant Messaging is real-time synchronous chat among two or more people over the Internet. Fans use it for many purposes, including:

  • Squee-ing together at a broadcast or awards show
  • Describing character actions or thoughts in a Role-Playing Game
  • Writing collaboration, either directly via IM or using the messaging as a Meta channel
  • Meeting for fan projects (such as this wiki)
  • General fannish dialog or group chat

One of the first large purveyors of an instant messaging service/client was AOL (America Online); when it first became popular, instant messaging was widely referred to by the AOL-related acronym, AIM.