What Does Presence Mean?

Presence is a service that stores, accepts and distributes information on whether someone is available to communicate over a network. Presence service can be applied as a single server or have an internal structure involving multiple servers and proxies.


Presence may also be referred to as presence informatin.

Techopedia Explains Presence

The most common example of presence is the status messages presented for users in an instant messaging system, which may read “available”, “busy”, “offline” or “out to lunch”, among other statuses. This indicates a user’s current communication status. Presence is often set by the user, but can also be used by technology to infer the user’s state. As such, comprehensive presence information that integrates various technologies (such as the person’s calendar and mobile devices) can have privacy issues.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.