Instant Messaging Software

Written by Serena Berger
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Instant messaging software is very popular among both home and business computer users. Its wide appeal comes from the fact that it provides users with the ability to communicate with each other free of charge. If you have friends or family members in other countries, instant messaging software can connect all of you simultaneously as well as letting you avoid racking up huge long distance bills.

Many instant messaging programs allow you to specify the degree of privacy that you wish to maintain. You can choose to list your hometown, birthday, and hobbies in your profile so that other users can find you and communicate with you using the same software if you want to make new friends. If you prefer a greater level of privacy, you can set the program to only allow users on your contact list to see you online.

Besides allowing individuals to "speak" with each other, many instant messaging programs also enable you to share files. You can create a folder for others to access and make it available to everyone or only to selected users. Since most email providers only allow you to transmit files of a limited size through email, instant messaging programs are a good alternative for those who need to send larger files.

Instant Messaging Software for Businesses

Businesses can choose to use the same instant messaging programs used in homes, but ultimately might prefer something intended specifically for professional use. Such instant messaging programs can limit communication to individuals within your network so that employees are able to communicate using instant message, but only with coworkers. These programs also allow employers to monitor communications so that they can see how much the software is being used and on what projects, thus enabling them to determine how much it is actually contributing toward productivity or in which cases it may be detracting.

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