Instant Messaging

Real-time Text Transmission via Web, short: IM

Instant Messaging more popular than E‑Mail

For some, e-mail is the favourite means of communication, for others the telephone and those who are rarely able to meet friends/relatives in person, e.g. due to long distances, may use video calls (only mobile messengers made these affordable for everyone).

The first Internet-wide instant messaging service is ICQ, which was launched in 1996. instant messaging is a very widespread form of telecommunication, especially as a substitute for SMS (Short Message Service) in mobile telephony (associated with additional costs on the part of the network providers).

I didn't use IM back then. My favourite means of communication was e-mail. This was also because e-mail programmes are similar to the message editors of FidoNet, which I daily used long before the invention of the WWW. Even back then, the message editor GoldEd was more convenient than e-mail clients.

Ordinary E-Mails are not secure

Few mail servers are configured to transmit e-mails only if the recipient's mail server also uses transport encryption!

The global surveillance disclosures brought us certainty:
unencrypted transmitted emails are read and evaluated.

Since then, security-conscious people prefer to communicate via data-saving messenger apps, even if there is actually no need for chat or video telephony.

Messenger replaces E-Mail, SMS, MMS and Mailbox

Since messages are stored on the server until they are viewed by the recipient, a messenger can also serve as a substitute for e-mail, SMS, MMS and answering machine. Messages can be stored and transmitted as audio files. The latter is very popular nowadays, especially among young people.

Careful Selection of the Instant Messaging Service

You don't just want to send irrelevant stuff with your messenger. You quickly get used to the comfortable, fast communication and simple operation of this one app. The plan to write “only unimportant things via messenger A” and use “only messenger B for confidential things” will not really work. Sooner rather than later, people will accidentally use “the wrong app” for confidential information. It becomes annoying to decide whether something is too private for one messenger or the other. It's like business mobile phones: although the employer can see everything if he wants to, a lot of private calls are made.

Over time, the messaging service becomes “indispensable” and you trust it with everything: You send and receive confidential documents, photos or videos.
In your address book you not only have telephone numbers, but also very private data about the contacts. All this must not fall into the hands of strangers!

Human Right to Privacy

  • do FB/WA users have no qualms about their friends' personal data being commercially exploited?
  • when will users of WA, FB etc. realise that they are betraying their friends?!

It's not just your own privacy that goes lost when you use (a)social media!
All the telephone numbers you save on your smartphone are processed by (a)social media. It even says so in their terms and conditions!
For a long time it even said that entire address books were uploaded!
This was hardly complained about even then, or perhaps hardly anyone had realised the full implications?

It is frightening that most users accept these terms and conditions unread, whatever they say – a gross violation of the EU GDPR for commercial use!
If used privately, it is considered a betrayal and gross disregard for the privacy of fellow human beings, who themselves avoid asocial Networks!


  • direct communication similar to a personal conversation
  • tap-proof communication without expensive special telephones


  • no folder structure
  • Contacts must use the same messenger service
  • Data backup/restore mostly platform-dependent
  • Moving data only possible on the same platform


A secure messenger (everything end-to-end encrypted without tricks, i.e. not Telegram or WA) can be a useful addition to email services and enables tap-proof telephone calls.
If you don't like email, use such a messenger as an all-purpose tool.

Session | Signal | Threema

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