Definition[edit | edit source]

Buddy list is

the brand for a service provided by AOL that provides real-time chat between two or more persons who are simultaneously using the AOL Service. Using this service, members can also learn when pre-selected users are online and available for real-time chat. AOL has been providing this one-to-one real-time chat service continuously since early 1997.[1]
[a] collection of screen names, usually compiled by a user for "instant messaging" on his or her personal computer or cellular telephone.[2]

How it works[edit | edit source]

A buddy list contains the online names of "buddies" of a given user and indicates when one or more come online. When the user knows that "sue123" is online, she can send "sue123" an instant message and start a conversation. Thus, buddy lists facilitate online, real-time communication among people who know each others' online names. Most IM services also offer a blocking option that enables a user who receives an IM from someone to block it. This option is used when a user receives an IM from someone with whom the user does not want to communicate (e.g., a stranger, or a friend with whom one is on the "outs").

References[edit | edit source]

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