Instant Messaging Grows in Consumer, Business Sectors

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Instant messaging has been popular among cell phone users for a while, but it also has become more important to business users in recent years, according to a study released yesterday.


"Widespread use of instant messaging in corporate sectors has increasingly been gaining traction, and we expect that the Enterprise Instant Messaging market will continue to show strong growth over the next few years," according to a summary of The Radicati Group's Instant Messaging Market study.


The Radicati Group, Palo Alto, CA, looked at instant messaging use in 2005, then predicted potential growth. It found that users of enterprise networks sent 1.4 instant messages per day this year on average, but will send seven per day by 2009.


"While the technology was first developed as a way for consumer users to keep in touch with friends and family, today it has become a very important communications tool for corporate users," the summary said.


Still, instant messaging is more popular among consumers. Consumers sent about 12.5 IMs per day in 2005, a number expected to reach 39.5 a day in 2009. There are also many more consumer than business IM accounts. The study found 816 million accounts in public IM networks compared with 51 million enterprise IM accounts.


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