Last updated on March 13, 2019
The terms “chat” and “instant messaging” have most probably been interchanged confusingly by both business owners and end-users.
Who could blame them? At first glance, it seems and sounds like both convey basically one and the same thing, especially in the context of communication.
In the world of the internet, however, these two terms convey different forms of keeping in touch.
Indeed, although chat allows users and even businesses to send instant messages to friends, colleagues and customers, instant message is still not considered the same as chat.
Quite confusing, isn’t it?
Chat and instant messaging both allow users to converse more quickly and easily through using a short messaging format and enabling the exchange of messages in real-time.
Ideally, both are used when both or all parties involved are online to ensure that sent messages can be read promptly.
It is this particular convenience and instantaneous connection that make both chat and instant messaging essential and powerhouse resources for modern-day communication.
Chat messaging was developed and launched during the 1970’s. The main goal for its design and conception was to give people the ability to chat with groups of people at the same time.
What started with only five people who could chat at a time, was then expanded into a technological advancement n the 90’s that forever changed the digital landscape.
In the past, the use of internet was more costly and the charges incurred were based on how long a person spent online. Due to the expensive costs of the internet back then, it left a decline in the number of people using chat.
But, since AOL helped make the use of the internet more affordable, people are now able to stay online for as long as they wanted and that’s when chat rooms became a huge hit. In 1997, in the midst of the elevation of chat rooms, AOL was able to host over 19 million users.
Chat basically transpires in a virtual chat room. It is a forum where multiple people connect with each other discussing their shared interest and send messages and images to everyone all at once.
The people that comprise a chat room do not always have to be initially affiliated or connected for them to be able to send and receive messages from each other.
Currently, there are still applications and platforms that allow people to engage in chat rooms.
Instant messaging is usually more suited for a one-on-one conversation between two individuals. It enables users to keep a list of people or contacts to communicate with.
Instant messaging was released in the year 1960, when Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed the platform, they allowed up to 30 users to log and send messages to each other.
The concept of instant messaging grew in popularity as advancements in technology continued to progress. It was in 1996 when instant messaging began to dominate the lifestyles of internet users, right when Mirabilis introduced the free instant-messaging service called ICQ.
Aside from messages, instant messaging now allows exchanging files such as videos, documents and images.
Both instant messaging and chat have dominated the business sector, as shown by the growing number of chat and IM platforms being developed to support all business sizes:
While both are used mainly to communicate with other people, there are distinct differences that help distinguish how chat and IM operate differently:
The common denominator between these two communication platforms is the capability to connect individuals, groups, and businesses across the globe. Communication is one of the secrets behind the rise and success of the biggest brands known today.
Whether its consumer-to-consumer, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, industries to sectors — breaking down ideas and coming up with a strategy to create something that is functional, beneficial and sustainable for the common good starts with a clear and effective way to connect and network.
Chat and instant messaging are both designed to support and augment existing communication resources and channels. The vaster the possibilities presented by easy and adaptable messaging systems contribute to the improvement of employee management, executing company operations, and imparting a brand’s identity and core objectives.
Advancements in communication secure the smoother transfer of knowledge in a manner that gaps in interpersonal relations done through other forms of connecting are bridged.
Perhaps, instead of choosing which is better, the bigger question for business owners now is this: ‘What is the most suitable messaging channel that will complement their company’s unique environment and help grow their brand and enhance their services?’
To answer that question, finding a reliable partner to layout how the distinct features of each will impact the business both internally and externally is a good first step.
New Media Services is a name that brands can trust, as exhibited by an exceptional array of Live Operator Online Platform (LOOP) services. Businesses can choose from our flexible IM, SMS and EMAIL chat services. Send us a message to learn more about our cost-effective business chat solutions!