Meebo is the most popular of the Web IM choices, and with good reason.
This online instant messaging service works with AIM, Yahoo, My Space, Facebook, MSN, GTalk, ICQ, Jabber, and even Flixster.
The messenger supports rich-text messages including links, font and color formatting, emoticons, and it can receive files and directories from the IM server and other users.
An attempt to send an IM to someone who is not online, or who is not willing to accept IMs, will result in notification that the transmission cannot be completed.
If the online software is set to accept IMs, it alerts the recipient with a distinctive sound, a window that indicates that an IM has arrived and allowing the recipient to accept or reject it, or a window containing the incoming message.
Instant messaging differs from ordinary e-mail in the immediacy of the message exchange and also makes a continued exchange simpler than sending e-mail back and forth.
Most exchanges are text-only, though popular services, such as AOL, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!
Messenger and Apple's i Chat now allow voice messaging, file sharing and even video chat when both users have cameras.