Instant Messaging (IM) is older than the Internet. The first iterations appeared during the 1960s on operating systems such as CompatibleTime Sharing System (CTSS), not the most catchy of names I grant you. However, IM did not reach mass popularity until the 1990s with the likes of AIM (AOL), and later in 1999 with the release of MSN Messenger – launching instant, free communications to the nascent Internet population.
At its pinnacle, MSN Messenger had over half a billion active users sharing billions of messages (source: Microsoft). MSN, AIM and others created a shift in human interactions, producing a new global behavior for how we communicated peer-to-peer. In a few short years, users dwindled as social media and advancements in mobile devices bore another transition of behavior. Read More