Instant messaging systems tend to facilitate connections between specified known users (often using a contact list also known as a "buddy list" or "friend list").
Depending on the IM protocol, the technical architecture can be peer-to-peer (direct point-to-point transmission) or client-server (a central server retransmits messages from the sender to the communication device).
More advanced instant messaging can add file transfer, clickable hyperlinks, Voice over IP, or video chat.
Non-IM types of chat include multicast transmission, usually referred to as "chat rooms", where participants might be anonymous or might be previously known to each other (for example collaborators on a project that is using chat to facilitate communication).
Instant messaging (IM) is a type of online chat that offers real-time text transmission over the Internet.
A LAN messenger operates in a similar way over a local area network.
Instant messaging is a set of communication technologies used for text-based communication between two or more participants over the Internet or other types of networks. Of importance is that online chat and instant messaging differ from other technologies such as email due to the perceived quasi-synchrony of the communications by the users.
IM allows effective and efficient communication, allowing immediate receipt of acknowledgment or reply.
However IM is basically not necessarily supported by transaction control.