In this day and age, where information and communication are vital components of running a business, instant messaging (IM) programs have overshot the basic electronic letter. While both e-mail and IM programs can convey text to the recipient or recipients, in the case of mass memorandums, IM programs can engage the recipient instantly, and within real time. IM programs can be utilized in establishing a dialogue between parties rather than the likely game of communications-based Catch that e-mail can entail.
Depending on the specific IM program, a user can make use of, and combine, multiple features beyond simple text communication
- Attaching and sending documents (such as important .pdf or .doc files) to the necessary parties.
- Establishing hyperlinks within text
- VOIP (short for Voice-Over Internet Protocol) for non-visual communication methods (such as a conference call between clients and employees)
- Full video chat
It’s also worth noting that, at least within the United States, the transcripts and logs from IM programs can serve as evidence of business activities for the purpose of both government regulations as well as within court systems.