illumy lets you send messages to anyone with an email address. But not everyone you message is an illumy user like you. You can tell who is and who isn’t by looking at the color of their names in the Messaging panel on the left side of your screen.
The names in **purple** (or white, if you use dark mode) are “smart contacts”. They are the people who have joined illumy and enjoy all its benefits.
The names in **gray** are basic contacts. They are the people who haven’t joined illumy yet. You can still email them, but you can’t use all the cool features that illumy offers.
#### what can basic contacts do?
Basic contacts are people who email you on illumy, but they don’t have an illumy account. You can see them in your Contacts Book, or pin their conversation to the top of your Messaging panel. But you can only email them back and forth. You can’t chat with them on illumy, or call them for free.
If basic contacts change their email address, phone number, or any other information, they have to tell you so you can update their contact card yourself. Basic contacts are not very smart, are they?
#### what can smart contacts do?
Smart contacts are people who have an illumy account and use it to message you. Their names are in **purple** (or white, in dark mode) in the Messaging panel. They are smart because their contact cards are always updated with their latest information. They don’t have to tell you anything, because their contact card is their personal illumy profile.
Smart contacts are also smart because they can use all the amazing features that illumy has, such as encrypted chat, free voice calling, file sharing, message reactions, and more. You can do so much more with smart contacts than with basic contacts.
At illumy, we want you to communicate with anyone you want. But it’s more fun, easy, and secure with smart contacts. So invite your friends to join illumy and make them smart like you!