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There are no verification efforts to make sure a person creating an account is who they say they are.
This allows for an anonymity many predators desire when they can pose as a much younger person in order to meet others.
Either way, these programs require a user to log on and use a designated username (screenname / handle etc.) that becomes their identity on the system while in use.
In order to use this service a user must download a free program and install it on their computer or an app for their phone or tablet.
Therefore it is always important to think twice before entering any personal information within online profile registration pages. A “buddy list” or “messenger list” is a small active window inside an IM program listing screen name contacts a user considers a friend.
It allows quick communication by clicking the name and typing a message.
Instant Messaging (IM or IMing) is a service allowing users to send typed messages, pictures, files, and live video to a recipient based on their screen name.
This exchange can go back and forth as long as both parties desire.