History of IM
Instant messaging (IM) predates the internet, yes, you heard right. This report indicates that the phrase entered common usage in the early 1990s, while the concept dates back to the mid-1960s with the Compatible Time-Sharing Systems (CTSS) created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961.
In the 1970s, programmers worked on peer-to-peer protocol, allowing universities and research labs to establish simple communication between users of the same computer.
The Zephyr Notification Service, also created at MIT through Project Athena in the 1980s, used Unix to locate and send messages to users. Some institutions, including MIT and Carnegie Mellon University, still use the service.
The 1980s also saw great interest in the bulletin board system, or BBS — a system that allowed users to use a terminal program to upload and download software and exchange direct messages with others.
When it comes to Instant messaging it’s something that the majority of people now use to communicate, text messages are becoming absolute, and the rise of applications such as Whatsapp and Facebook messenger are dominating the industry.
Popularity: It is estimated that there will be 6.1bn smartphone owners globally by 2020. And, if you've got a smartphone, the chances are you're used to instant messaging.
Cost effective: As you may know, it costs every time you send a text message about 35p to send one in the UK.
Secure: It is secure, private and this means if you are using it within your company you can send important information via messaging apps such as Slack or Telegram. This comes back to the topic of encryption, when the encryption is end-to-end you can send messages with the knowledge that you have maximum security within your company.
Encourages effective communication: Real-time messaging is fast and secure and it also encourages people to be succinct - no more long-winded emails to everyone, just one line can tell you everything you need to know.
It’s multi-platform: And this makes it mobile, which makes it easier to read messages on the go and to speak to people on different devices such as Android, iOS and desktop.
It’s unlimited: Text messages have a character limit of 160 whereas instant messaging is more or less unlimited, depending on the platform you use of course.
There are so many choices when it comes to messaging apps, so which are the most popular? Well, statistics from 2018 show that over 1.3 billion monthly users of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, 980 million monthly active users of WeChat and 843 million monthly active users of QQ Mobile.
Instant messaging will continue to thrive as long as there is a use for them, whether that is social or business.
Which platform do you use, and more importantly, why?