IM Market Share
According to the latest figures from Neilsen/Netratings, AOL still has a commanding lead in the IM market.
At the other end of the spectrum you have Google. Google recently opened up their Google Talk client by integrating it with Gmail as chat, complete with chat logs in the inbox and an integrated contact list. This helps them expand their subscriber base by pulling people in from Gmail. But that's not enough, so Google has also bought their way in to AOL's vast subscriber base. With their investment in AOL, Google has announced their intention to provide interoperability between AIM and Google Talk, further expanding their market reach.
Battle lines are drawn
So with AOL and Google in bed together, where does that leave MSN and Yahoo? Together. Back in October 2005 MSN and Yahoo announced their plans to connect Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger (the new moniker for the next generation of MSN Messenger), sometime later this spring.
So let's look at how the battle lines are shaping up:
IM fans will win in the end, as instant messaging choices open up further. Hopefully as the IM giants open their doors to interoperability, they'll find more benefits than disadvantages, and we'll get true interoperability sooner.
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Last edited by Jeff; 03-07-2006 at 09:56 AM.
Nielsen/Netratings didn't publish any figures for this year. They tend to run various reports based on who wants the research.
The latest IM-related report Nielsen/Netratings published was back on July 26, 2007 and dealt with the "fastest-growing instant messaging destination" (PDF) site between August 2006 and June 2007.
Here's what they found at the time:
Keep in mind that stats can also be made to say whatever you want; it all depends on how and what you measure. Always take them with a grain of salt (preferably from the rim of a margarita glass).
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