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Match.com gets chatty

Match.com launched an instant messenger feature Monday, allowing 527,000 paying subscribers to chat in real time with potential mates. The Dallas-based online dating service, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ticketmaster, becomes the most recent company to incorporate instant messaging--quickly becoming a preferred method of interoffice communication and customer service, and increasingly a standard feature on content sites.

Match.com Messenger allows users to contact each other through "double blind" software so they don't have to provide their actual IM handles. Instead, they use an anonymous Match.com username, and they can also submit a photo with basic member profile information in the conversation window. Members may block other members from contacting them via IM.