How do I Instant Message (IM) someone?

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Instant messaging is a private way to communicate with individuals or groups. IM is different from chat in that you can IM any Resident, no matter where they are, inworld or offline, at any time.


The most common ways to start an IM session require you either have the calling card of the Resident you wish to contact, or that you pull up their profile by using the People tab of the Search window.


Ways to start an IM conversation

  • Right-click the person's avatar and select Send IM. This method only works if the person is near you.
  • Click the Communicate button at the bottom of the Second Life window, then double-click a person's name in the Friends tab. The Friends tab of the Communicate window lists every person you have a calling card for, while the Groups tab lists all of your groups.
  • Open someone's profile by double-clicking their calling card in your inventory. You can click on Instant Message from their opened profile, or right-click the card itself and select Send Instant Message.
  • If you don't know or see the person, click the Search button at the bottom of the Second Life window. Navigate to the People tab of the Search window, then search for them. Click on the person's name to open their profile, then click on Instant Message.
  • If you are using Second Life Viewer 1.20 or later, you may click someone's name in chat history to open their profile.


To put more than one person in the same IM conversation, see How do I IM a group of people at once?