Difference Between Usenet and Instant Messaging (IM)

Instant messaging has become increasingly popular in the last decade. Services like AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Google are widely used to send messages, photos and videos. Usenet on the other hand, is a discussion system, which is also used as a medium for communication, but is very different from instant messaging services.

Firstly, instant messaging services are usually centralized, meaning that all parties involved are connected with each other through a main server, which relays information. Usenet however, relies on a constantly changing set of servers, which are distributed world-wide. Furthermore, instant messaging can broadly be said to be the evolution of Usenet. Usenet works much like a bulletin board, where users post articles and news, which are then read by others. The internet forums which most people use today, came after Usenet, and then came instant messaging.

Simply put, Usenet is conducive for discussions and news posts, but is not as convenient as instant messaging when it comes to one-to-one, private conversations. Moreover, instant messaging has adapted to the smart-phone rush, and now instant messaging clients are widely available, allowing users to transfer all sorts of media on the go.


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    A long time before internet was introduced for personal computers, a project was started at the University of North Carolina in 1979 to create a computer network communication system. It used UUCP as a transport protocol and gave people permission to use internet way before WWW was conceived. The system was created in 1980 and let people send files and mails. The originator named the entity Usenet and nowadays, after more than 30 years of its establishment, the number of people using it for sharing and sending articles has slowly increased. It is a popular discussion platform where you can share and read messages known as articles on Usenet. They are just like web forms. It is the predecessor of the email and web forms and a combination of both. Usenet has lost its appeal to users because of the rise of modern modes of communication such as email and IM.

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    Instant Messaging:

    In instant messaging, the formatting and transmission of messages is much like on Usenet. However, instant messaging has many more features and is much more convenient for personal conversations. Instant messaging has also been integrated deeply with smart-phones, which has made it much more popular.

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