Last updated on January 14, 2019

Chat vs. Instant Messaging

Monitors sending chat messing

The terms “chat” and “instant messaging” might have cause you some confusion or you might think that they are exactly the same. But in the internet they are two different form of communication. Though chat allows users or even businesses to send instant messages to friends, colleagues and customers, instant message is still not considered a chat.

Chat and instant messaging allows users to converse more quickly and easily through a form of short messages sent and read real-time. It is generally used when both or all people are online, so your messages can be read promptly. This only means that chat and IM are still superior when it comes to quick messages and conversations.

Let’s now further discover these two kinds of chat messaging.


Group of man chatting to each other(Image Courtesy of Pixabay)

Chat basically transpired in a virtual chat room, it’s a forum where multiple people connect with each other discussing their shared interest and sending messages and images to everyone all at once. There are instances wherein you may not know anyone in a chat room. The main concept of a chat room hit its peak in the late ‘90s and has declined, but these days there are still some applications and platforms that allow people to engage in chat rooms.

Chat messaging was launched in the year 1970; it was developed at the University of Illinois in 1973. Giving people the ability to chat with groups of people. The chat messaging started with only five people who could chat at a time. Then in the late 90’s, a technological advancement happened and have forever changed the digital landscape.

In the past, the use of internet is costly and most of the time incurred based how long a person spent online. But since AOL made staying online affordable, people are now able to stay online as long as they wanted and that’s when chat room boomed. In 1997, in the elevation of chat rooms, AOL was able to hosts 19 million of them.

Top 11 chat room platforms for 2018 include:

  1. Badoo
  2. Chat Avenue
  3. Second life
  4. ChatIb
  5. MocoSpace
  6. IMVU
  7. Chat Random
  8. Tinychat
  9. Camfrog
  10. Teen-Chat

Instant Messaging (IM)

Instant Messaging apps on a phone(Image Courtesy of Pixabay)

An instant messaging is usually suited for one-on-one conversation, it is usually between two individuals instead of conversations involving group of people. This includes a list of your contacts that is called a Buddy List or Friend List, which allows a user to see who is online. The exchange of text and images always occur with someone you know.

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 the technology advancement continue to progress. Now we take way of communication a part of our lives.

 Here are the 9 most popular instant messaging app for 2018, according to

  1. WhatsAppThe world’s number one messaging app that was acquired by Facebook in the year 2014, developers worked on a new feature that allows users delete messages they regret having sent, 1.3 billion users are breathing a sigh of relief.
  2. Facebook Messenger1.2 billion uses this messaging service each month.
  3. WeChatlet users communicate and pay for things, 938 million use the app to book holidays
  4. QQis a Chinese app that has over 861 million users connected around the globe every month.
  5. Skypehas 300 million users worldwide.

Everyone wants to connect through the use of chat messaging apps, but not most users and businesses know about what exactly are the ways. This blog discusses the differences between chat and instant messaging which are considered to be the most common modes of communication through the internet. The given examples and definitions above aims to clear any confusions.


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