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From ICQ to AIM, Google Chat to Facebook Chat, Internet users have been able to send messages to each other instantaneously for years. Instant messaging has been an evolving idea for a long time, so it's somewhat difficult to pinpoint its origin.In fact, did you know that instant messaging, or at least an early form of the concept, actually predates the World Wide Web?Like the services before it, AIM allowed users to send messages to each other, and included user profiles, away messages and icons for more engagement.With AIM also came the development of different bots, such as Study Buddy and Smarter Child (which have since been retired), with whom users could interact. Messenger included customized "IMVironments," address book integration and custom status messages. Pidgin, founded as "Gaim" in 1998 as an open-source instant messaging client, allowed users to reach contacts on several operating systems.In 1996, Israeli company Mirabilis launched ICQ, a text-based messenger that was the first to really reach a widespread market of online users.ICQ allowed for multi-user chats, file transfers, a searchable user directory and more.
Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and later My Space IM, Facebook Chat, Google Talk and others.
In the 1970s, programmers worked on peer-to-peer protocol, allowing universities and research labs to establish simple communication between users of the same computer.
The Zephyr Notification Service, also created at MIT through Project Athena in the 1980s, used Unix to locate and send messages to users.
Multi-user operating systems such as the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS), which was created at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s Computation Center in 1961, allowed up to 30 users to log in at the same time and send messages to each other.
The system, which is perhaps closer to what we now think of as email, had hundreds of registered users from MIT and other New England colleges by 1965.