presence

In computer and telecommunications networks, presence information is a status indicator that conveys ability and willingness of a potential communication partner—for example a user—to communicate. A user's client provides presence information (presence state) via a network connection to a presence service, which is stored in what constitutes his personal availability record (called a presentity) and can be made available for distribution to other users (called watchers) to convey their availability for communication. Presence information has wide application in many communication services and is one of the innovations driving the popularity of instant messaging or recent implementations of voice over IP clients.

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