Dating with instant messenger

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Early instant messaging programs were primarily real-time text, where characters appeared as they were typed. Modern implementations of real-time text also exist in instant messengers, such as AOL's Real-Time IM In the latter half of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the Quantum Link online service for Commodore 64 computers offered user-to-user messages between concurrently connected customers, which they called "On-Line Messages" (or OLM for short), and later "Flash Mail." (Quantum Link later became America Online and made AOL Instant Messenger (AIM, discussed later).

This includes the Unix "talk" command line program, which was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. While the Quantum Link client software ran on a Commodore 64, using only the Commodore's PETSCII text-graphics, the screen was visually divided into sections and OLMs would appear as a yellow bar saying "Message From:" and the name of the sender along with the message across the top of whatever the user was already doing, and presented a list of options for responding.

Instant messaging systems tend to facilitate connections between specified known users (often using a contact list also known as a "buddy list" or "friend list").

Some IM applications can use push technology to provide real-time text, which transmits messages character by character, as they are composed.

As such, it could be considered a type of graphical user interface (GUI), albeit much more primitive than the later Unix, Windows and Macintosh based GUI IM software.

OLMs were what Q-Link called "Plus Services" meaning they charged an extra per-minute fee on top of the monthly Q-Link access costs.

In 2000, an open-source application and open standards-based protocol called Jabber was launched.

The protocol was standardized under the name Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP).

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