We just read a good article discussing about Instant Messenger or Instant Messaging from www.archives.gov . In that article, they discuss about what is Instant Messaging and what for. Does Instant Messaging or Instant Messenger differ from email or others Web application?. How about Federal Record of IM Content, how to manage IM content, and much more.
Here are some quote of them:
What is Instant Messaging (IM)?
Instant Messaging (IM) is an electronic messaging service that allows users to determine whether a certain party is connected to the messaging system at the same time. IM allows them to exchange text messages with connected parties in real time.
To use the service, users must have IM client software installed on their workstations. While there are many types of IM clients, they all tend to function in a similar manner. Client software may either be part of an agency’s IT network and available to only registered users, or be public and available to anyone on the Internet.
Further explanation about FAQ aka Frequently Asked Question about Instant Messaging you can read here.