Messaging software is software programs that allow for two written and oral communications between two parties using the power of the Internet. The tool allows users to connect with other parties who also use messaging software, so that they may communicate in real time situations by sending messages that resemble emails back and forth. In addition, some messaging software also makes it possible to establish a two-way voice communication with another party.
Messaging software allows for the online phenomenon that is known as instant messaging. Commonly referred to as IMing, a user loads the messaging software on his or her hard drive. After installation is complete, the user has access to the range of features provided by the messaging software program. These often include the ability to create multiple friends or buddy lists, send and receive instant messages from other parties using the same messaging platform, and in some cases make use of an audio feature to communicate with loved ones around the world.
In recent years, messaging software has become increasingly sophisticated. Many IM software packages today include such features as the ability to transfer files via the software, play games, listen to music, and scan the stock market while engaging in a communication with another user. The enhanced features do require additional resources from the hard drive, so persons who have older computers with limited resources may find the feature rich messaging software of today performs slowly. However, there are still simpler versions of messaging software that do not require as many resources, and are ideal for persons who use dial-up connections and have less robust hard drives.
There are a number of free messaging software packages on the market today. Some of these are offered free of charge to clients of major Internet service providers. Others are offered by major search engines and can be downloaded and installed by anyone. There are several messaging software packages that allow a user to set up accounts with a number of free messaging services and interact with users that use different instant messaging programs. These are often available for a nominal charge.