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Msn is an instant message service, similar to the 'chat' feature on Facebook however msn is where they got the idea for it from. You can have conversations with multiple people at once, you just need to click on which contact you want to talk to & your conversation with that particular person will come up on the screen. Of course you know when someone has replied to your last message as the certain conversation box will flash orange & make a sound.
I honestly don't think I'd be able to live without msn. I don't know anyone who doesn't have it. I've been using it for years now & it has become almost like a way of life. The great thing about it is that it's free, better than using the phone. You can have conversations using webcams which eliminates the need for a phone altogether. It's great to be able to see who you're talking to, it's like video calling on mobiles but a lot better quality & the fact that msn is free to use!
I've heard so much talk about msn not being free anymore, I keep getting emails saying I will be charged to use msn if I don't forward on the email to everyone in my inbox, I did it once but the rest of the emails I have discarded & I am still not having to pay for it… fingers crossed!
You can add pictures to have as a display picture for others to see or better yet you can use your webcam so when people talk to you they can see your face & if they have a webcam you can see them.
On msn you can change the font & colour of your writing, you can either use the same chosen font for all your conversations or you can have a different font & colour for each person you talk to. You can add animations such as smiley faces, you simply doing this by typing in J & a yellow animated face will appear. You can download more faces & animations, some that move & make sounds but be careful when you do this as some can be viruses.
Another great thing about msn is that you can sort your contacts into groups i.e. friends, family, work colleagues. This is especially good if you happen to have a lot of contacts. It's easy to see who's online as the people who are online have icons that are green & offline is grey. When a person logs on a quick pop up comes up on the bottom right of your screen just to let you know that they're online, if you wish to speak to this person you can simply click on the pop up message that appears or just as simply find them on your list of online people.
You can add your own personal message on msn which will appear directly under your name on your screen & on other peoples. This is just a way of writing a short message about what your up to, how you're feeling etc.
A great thing that I use a lot on msn is the 'appearing offline' feature. When I log in I use this feature therefore I can look at who's online & if there's someone I want to talk to I will appear online but if not I'll either log out or stay appearing offline until someone I want to talk to comes on. This is a great way of avoiding people you don't want to speak to, if you they can't see you they cant' speak to you!
Of course another way to avoid this is to block them. This means that when you're appearing online you can see that they're online but they can't see that you're online, this is great as it gives you privacy & also the person wont know that you've blocked them, it will just show you as offline on their screen.
One of the best things about msn is the hotmail feature. It is a free email service & is available to everyone. You simply use your msn address & password to log into hotmail to send emails to people & it is absolutely free, there's no hidden charges no matter how many emails you send. There is a quick link to your hotmail account via msn, simply click on the envelope icon that appears directly below your display picture. It will also tell you if you have any new messages without having to log on, it will simply show a number in brackets if you have any unopened messages.
You can customise pretty much everything on msn including your background colour, this is the colour you get around the outside, you can have a variety of colours to reflect your personality.
If you want you can store your log in information on your computer which means that when you turn your computer on it will instantly log you into msn, you can also have just your address stored so you only have to enter your password when logging on.
You get a lot of advertising with msn however if they didn't have the adverts splattered on the left side of the screen & one on the bottom then you would have to pay for it yourself so it's a good thing really & you get used to them, they don't hinder anything & some of them can be quite useful, displaying things like the latest film releases & showing you previews when you hold the cursor over it.
You can now get msn on your mobile if you have internet access on your phone, it is a great feature for if you're out & about & get bored. It is a bit slow, but of course being on a mobile that is to be expected & like msn on the computer it is also free apart from your WAP charges.
At the bottom of your msn homepage you have a long white search bar, this enables you to search for anything on the web & works in the same way google does. This is a great feature although I tend to use google if I want to search for something, just out of habit. Near the top of the page above where your contacts are displayed you'll see another search bar, this is to search for people on your contact list. This is particularly useful if you have a large number of contacts as the only other way of getting to them is to scroll down which can take a while. You can type in their name or a bit of their email address & everyone that matches that criteria will be on the screen.
On the right just above the contact search bar is the add button, this is where you add new contacts simply by entering their email address. You don't need to enter any other information like their name, date of birth etc except you can enter their name if you decide to. You can also choose which group to put them in or whether to put them in a group at all.
Overall I would say msn is the most addictive thing on the internet & is definitely on par with Facebook, they're like Pringles… once you pop you can't stop!