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Instant messaging services.

Top 30 Instant Messaging and (Video) Chat Services

Instant Messaging & Chat News & Resources (40+) Top 30 Instant Messaging & (Video) Chat Services

INSTANT MESSAGING (IM) is a type of online chat which offers real-time text transmission over the Internet. A LAN messenger operates in a similar way over a local area network. Short messages are typically transmitted bi-directionally between two parties, when each user chooses to complete a thought and select "send". Some IM applications can use push technology to provide real-time text, which transmits messages character by character, as they are composed. More advanced instant messaging can add file transfer, clickable hyperlinks, Voice over IP, or video chat.

ONLINE CHAT may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly. Thereby, a feeling similar to a spoken conversation is created, which distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email. Online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.

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    Instant Messaging & Chat News & Resources
  • Adium - since 2001. Free and open source instant messaging client for OS X that supports multiple IM networks, including Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ and XMPP.
  • AIM - since 1997. "Chat, Share, Connect. Chat with your friends on AIM, Facebook, Google Talk." Instant messaging and presence computer program which uses the proprietary OSCAR instant messaging protocol and the TOC protocol to allow registered users to communicate in real time.
  • Any Meeting - "Free Web Conferencing Software, Free Online Meetings." Strictly, AnyMeeting is more of a videoconferencing service than it is a video chat service, but it fills the role nicely enough that some of you nominated it. It's lightweight, and only requires a browser plugin to work. It's free (although it's ad-supported).
  • BlackBerry Messenger - proprietary Internet-based instant messenger and videotelephony application included on BlackBerry devices that allows messaging (and videocalls for BlackBerry 10 smartphones) between BlackBerry users. Messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger are sent over the Internet and use the BlackBerry PIN system, so communication was only possible between BlackBerry devices until 2013.
  • Confide - "Your off-the-record messenger." Spoken words disappear after they're heard. But what you say online remains forever. With confidential messages that self-destruct, Confide lets you avoid the Cloud, and takes you off the record.
  • eBuddy - since 2003. "XMS. Unlimited messaging. Better. Free." Unlimited messaging through your Internet connection. Message any way you want with text, pictures, videos, location, emoticons and more. eBuddy is a pioneer in the mobile messaging landscape with its services having 400 million users; 300 million downloads; and 650 billion messages processed. The company's flagship service is XMS, a proprietary cross-platform instant messaging service.
  • Facebook Messenger.
  • Facebook Messenger - instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice communication. Integrated with Facebook's web-based Chat feature and built on the open-source MQTT protocol, Messenger lets Facebook users chat with friends both on mobile and on the main website.
  • Facebook Video Chat - launched in 2011 as a simple and easy way to stay in touch with the friends you already have on a social network you already use. Powered on the back end by Skype.
  • FRING - free peer-to-peer mobile service enabling live chat, audio and video calls from mobile phones.
  • Google+ Hangouts - "Bring your conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free." Instant messaging service that provides both text and voice communication. The instant messaging service is colloquially known as "gtalk" or "gchat" to its users.
  • ICQ - since 1996. "Free texting in the app or via SMS. FREE calls from any device. Call your ICQ contacts free of charge and stay in touch wherever you are." Instant messaging computer program.
  • iMessage - since 2011. Instant messenger service developed by Apple Inc. for iOS and OS X Mountain Lion. Not to be confused with Messages (application). iMessage allows users to send texts, documents, photos, videos, contact information, and group messages over Wi-Fi, 3G or LTE to other iOS or OS X users, thus providing an alternative to standard SMS/MMS messaging for all users with devices running iOS 5 or later. On iPhones, green buttons and text bubbles indicate SMS-based communication; on all iOS devices, blue buttons and text bubbles indicate iMessage communication. All iMessages are ENCRYPTED and can be tracked using delivery receipts. If the recipient enables Read Receipts, the sender will be able to see that the recipient has read the message. iMessage also allows users to set up chats with more than two people - a "group chat".
  • iMessenger.
  • iMessenger - "Real Communication for iPhone." iMessenger 1.2 has a completely new MMS system. Your contacts have to be on the latest to receive MMS message.
  • Jive Chime - "Free Work Messaging. Seamlessly communicate with colleagues from any device, anytime, anywhere." Intuitive messaging for quick 1-1 and group conversations.
  • Messages - "Unlimited texting. Unlimited fun." If youíre a texter, youíll love Messages on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now they all come with iMessage, a service thatís an even better kind of texting. Because itís free for you and anyone texting over Wi-Fi using an iOS device or Mac with iMessage. And itís unlimited.* So say as much as you want.
  • Off-the-Record Messaging - allows you to have private conversations over instant messaging by providing: Encryption (No one else can read your instant messages), Authentication (you are assured the correspondent is who you think it is), Deniability (the messages you send do not have digital signatures that are checkable by a third party), Perfect forward secrecy (if you lose control of your private keys, no previous conversation is compromised).
  • ooVoo - since 2007. "Lets you video chat with up to 12 friends for FREE. Anytime. Anywhere." Free video chat and instant messaging client. Proprietary audio and video instant messaging client software.
  • Skype.
  • Skype - since 2003. Freemium voice-over-IP service and instant messaging client that is currently developed by the Microsoft Skype Division.
  • Slack (software).
  • Slack - since 2013. "A messaging app for teams." Be less busy. All your communication in one place, integrating with the tools and services you use every day.
  • Snapchat.
  • Snapchat - since 2011. Photo messaging application. Using the app, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of November 2013, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient's device and deleted from the Snapchat server.
  • Tango - "Free calls and messages everywhere. Connect, Get Social, Have Fun!" Tango automatically locates friends who also have the free app; just click on a name to place a voice or video call. The app doesnít need to be open for you to receive calls.
  • Telegram (messaging service).
  • Telegram - since 2013. "A new era of messaging. The world's fastest messaging app. It is free and secure." Cloud-based instant messaging service. Telegram client apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows NT, macOS and Linux. Users can send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio and files of any type. Messages in Telegram are server-client encrypted by default, and the service provides end-to-end encryption for voice calls and optional end-to-end encrypted "secret" chats.
  • TigerText - since 2010. "Work Securely." Multi-platform, secure, real-time messaging application for the enterprise that allows text messages to be deleted from both the sender's and the receiver's phones after expiration, which could be a set period of time or after reading. The messages cannot be saved, copied or forwarded by recipients. TigerText does this by storing the message on a company server, not the receiving and sending device, and deleting when the expiration conditions are met. TigerText can be used on any Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, tablet, Mac or PC.
  • Tinychat - "Live video chat rooms, simple and easy." Tinychat is an online video chat community. Discover and meet friendly people just like you. Connect and chat with your friends.
  • Tor Chat - decentralized anonymous instant messenger that uses Tor hidden services as its underlying Network. It can be used for text messaging and to transfer files to other users. The characteristics of Tor's hidden services take care that all traffic between the clients is encrypted and that it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to tell who is communicating with whom and where a given client is physically located.
  • Tox - "A New Kind of Instant Messaging." Free and open-source, peer-to-peer, encrypted instant messaging and video calling software. With the rise of government monitoring programs, Tox provides an easy to use application that allows you to connect with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is totally free, and comes without advertising.
  • Viber.
  • Viber - since 2010. "Free calls, text and picture sharing with anyone, anywhere!" Proprietary cross-platform instant messaging voice-over-Internet Protocol application for smartphones developed by Viber Media. In addition to text messaging, users can exchange images, video and audio media messages. The client software is available for Mac OS, Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Series 40, Symbian, Bada, Windows Phone, and Microsoft Windows.
  • Vonage - "Crazy generous. Free International Calls in iPhone & Android." Free Talk, Text and Video Worldwide. Download and make FREE high-definition phone calls and video calls and send FREE texts, video messages and photos to Vonage Mobile users worldwide.
  • WhatsApp Messenger.
  • WhatsApp - since 2009. Proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, video, and audio media messages.
  • Wickr - "Top-Secret Messenger. The Internet is Forever. Escape the Internet with Wickr!" Proprietary instant messenger for iOS and Android and of the company that produces it. Wickr allows users to exchange end-to-end encrypted and self-destructing messages, including photos and file attachments.
  • Wire.
  • Wire - since 2014. "The most secure collaboration platform." Business chats, one-click conference calls and shared documents - all protected with end-to-end encryption. Simple, beautiful conversations on your phone, tablet and desktop. A team of more than 50 people from 23 countries, supported by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, is launching Wire, a communications network for messaging, voice calling, sharing pictures, music and video on your phone, tablet and desktop. Wire is available on iOS, Android and OS X. It offers communications with an emphasis on high fidelity paired with elegant design. People can use Wire for personal and group messaging, voice calling, sharing pictures, SoundCloud music and YouTube video sharing. Wire conversations are kept in sync across all your devices. It is engineered to take advantage of todayís devices, including iPhone 6, iPads and the latest Android devices.
  • Yahoo! Messenger - "Chat, Instant message, SMS, Video Call, PC Calls." Advertisement-supported instant messaging client and associated protocol provided by Yahoo! Yahoo! Messenger is provided free of charge and can be downloaded and used with a generic "Yahoo! ID" which also allows access to other Yahoo! services.
  • Yik Yak - "Ride the Yak. Get a live feed of what everyone's saying around you." Anonymous social media app. It is available for iOS and Android and it allows people to anonymously create and view posts within a 1.5 mile radius depending on how many other users are nearby. It differs from other anonymous sharing apps such as PostSecret and Whisper in that it is intended for sharing primarily with those in close proximity to the user, potentially making it more intimate and relevant for people reading the posts. All users have the ability to contribute to the stream by writing, responding, and up voting or down voting yaks.
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