Which are the some popular instant messages?

Instant Messengers (IMS) have been an integral part of the lives of children who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s. Before WhatsApp revolutionised the world of chatting, there was Yahoo Messenger and Gchat. IM lets users have conversations with people around the world through real-time tot transmission over the Internet.

While it started with just text, over the years service providers began offering different features such as sharing of files and emoticons. As the quality of the Internet improved, many service providers added audio and video calls to their features.

Today, however, the rise of messaging apps such as Whatsapp and WeChat due to availability of Internet on smartphones, has led to the decline of chat messengers. Though few remain today, the nostalgia of using chat messengers remains with users who were introduced to computers in the 1990s and early 2000s. Let’s look at some popular IMs of the past, and some that remain popular even today.

AOL Instant Messenger (AIM)

One of the leading chat messengers used in North America, AIM was one of the oldest IM services, which was launched in 1997. The messenger was used widely in India as well.

AIM offered features such as messaging to mobile numbers and real-time IM that let you see what someone was typing in real-time. AIM was shut down in December 2017.

Yahoo! Messenger

One of the most popular chat messenger services in India, the Yahoo! Messenger was launched in 1998. It provided free of charge communication services and could be used only if you had a Yahoo! email ID. Most users on Yahoo! used its chatroom feature, which let users chat with others sharing common interests. Yahoo! Messenger closed its doors in July 2018.


Specialising in one-to-one and group video calls, Skype is a popular messenger platform which was launched in 2003. The messenger service also allows users to dial mobile numbers around the world. It was acquired by Microsoft.

MSN Messenger

MSN Messenger was launched by Microsoft in 1999 and was later rebranded as Windows Live Messenger. While it initially offered services to users with a hotmail ID, it later worked with Yahoo! Messenger and Skype to allow users to chat across the two platforms. The messenger service was discontinued in 2013.


Gchat now known as Google Hangouts, was launched in 2005. It allowed Google users to chat with each other. It is integrated with Gmail, meaning users could use it within the Gmail environment, and is available as a standalone messenger too. Over the years, Gchat became Google Hangouts and supported features such as audio and video calling and file sharing. Today, it also offers group video calls.


Picture Credit : Google