What is asynchronous communication? – Concept, objective and types

Since technology established itself as the most effective form of communication, the way we send and receive data and information has completely changed. Thanks to this, we have been able to go from sending letters with a waiting time of up to 1 month, to sending messages with space technology that they travel at the speed of light.

All this is possible thanks to one of the types of communication that have been developed to date. We are talking about asynchronous communication, so if this is your first time with this topic, you are in the right place. We will explain what this is, what its purpose is, as well as the types of asynchronous communication that exist so far.

Meaning and concept of asynchronous communication

This can be defined as the process of sending an information packet or message without waiting for the receiver to issue a response. In general, we are used to the idea that for communication to exist, there must be a sender, a receiver, a channel and a response. However, this is something that does not happen with the asynchronous communication.

What happens, in this case, is that there is no immediate response once the message has reached its destination. For example, a conversation via telephone call is considered as a synchronous communication, since there is a exchange of information in real time. On the other hand, when you send a message through instant messaging applications or use email, you are using asynchronous communication. We can say that the base difference is the response time.

Something like this happens with scientific dissemination. Here there is no constant communication, but rather a way to spread data and information to a large number of people. As there is no direct response in real time, this action is considered as asynchronous communication. Now, in a very specific way, we can define this as follows:

  • It does not require an immediate response.
  • It is associated with a digital/work environment.
  • It does not occur in real time.
  • Not all parties need to be involved in a system for there to be a shipment and receiving messages and information.
  • Videos, podcasts, and radio shows are clear basic examples of asynchronous communication.

What is the purpose of asynchronous communication?

Regarding the objective of this type of communication, everything is reduced to the increase in the productivity of a process. This can be applied both to the social, work, commercial or business environment. In fact, using asynchronous communication is so common, that all departments of a technology company benefit from it. In this way, it is possible for a work team to manage their time better and to be more products in terms of their functions to fulfill.

It is thanks to asynchronous communication that we can not worry about getting a response or even knowing if the message sent reached its destination or not. Thanks to current technology, it is possible to know if the data sent reached its destination or if it has been lost for some reason. Furthermore, this has allowed improve the way we advertise, we make a statement, we reach more people and we get more accurate metrics, compared to about 30 years ago. Knowing in depth about asynchronous communication is quite extensive, since there are many aspects to consider.

What are the characteristics of asynchronous communication?

  1. temporary flexibility

We start with one of the most interesting features and by far the most important of all. This is a function of time, that is, when sending information, data packets and others, it is not subject to the receiver being active in order to receive it. Therefore, you can send an email without the person being connected on the platform you are going to use. The same goes for the WhatsApp messages or the publications you make on social networks.

Once the information is sent, it will arrive at the appropriate time and it is the receiver who decides, in most cases, when to open it and see the content of the message.

  1. You can keep the information or data

Another one of the greats asynchronous communication characteristics, is that, regardless of time, you can keep the information permanently. Although it is also possible to archive information of all kinds as in cloud storage platforms. Sure, some information may be stored temporarily, depending on the website you are registered on.

  1. communication speed

Unlike synchronous communication, in the vast majority of cases there is no almost instant response time. This is because one of the parties is not always active within the communication. However, the information that is received is not volatile. That is, it remains there until the user decides to delete or archive it.

  1. Allows you to work with shared work

What previously was having to use flash drives to pass information from one computer to another, now it is not necessary. On the one hand, we have online platforms that facilitate remote teamwork and, on the other, sharing documents and entire folders with information. This last point is valid as long as you belong to the same LAN network.

What are the types of asynchronous communication?

More than different types, what there are actually are forms of asynchronous communication It varies depending on the environment you are in. Among the different types, there are those that we will mention below:

  • Communication between two users

The clear example of this case is when we are talking via WhatsApp, Telegram or any other application or platform that has instant messaging. By engaging in a conversation, a communication channel is opened, which will remain operational even when users are not there. For this reason, you can send messages to a recipient and he can see them as soon as he connects again. In other words, the message can reach its destination, despite the fact that the receiver, at the time, is not part of the communication system.

  • Communication between several users

This can be considered as one of the great advantages of asynchronous communication, since it allows to establish a means of communication between a limited, but numerous group of people. In general, there is an administrator who is in charge of the means used to send the information, while the rest can access the data with certain privileges.

  • audiovisual communication

If we have to give a basic example of this, we can go for any platform that offers multimedia content. YouTube is the classic example of this way of communicating, since the information is given by a video. Users can learn, listen and see the information while interacting with the content owner. Although this interaction is not instantaneous.

Examples of asynchronous communication

The first example that we can give you is the use of email no matter what platform you use. All email services work under this same principle and it is something that has not changed throughout all these years.

On the other hand, we have forums and public and/or private chats. WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and other platforms are the clear example of asynchronous communication. The response time is not instantaneous in these cases, but it is quite fast.

Lastly and most importantly, pre-recorded videos posted on the internet. Applications like Kawaii, TikTok and YouTube are the fundamental pillars when it comes to asynchronous communication.

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