Instant messaging: AFK

In 2007, 14% of Britons’ online time was spent on IM, according to the UK Online Measurement company – but that has fallen to just 5%, the firm says, basing its findings on the habits of a panel of 40,000 computer users.

The study was released shortly after AOL sold its ICQ instant messaging service $187.5m (£124m) – less than half what the company paid for it in 1998.

And in September 2009, a survey of internet use by the New York-based Online Publishers Association found that the amount of time spent by surfers on traditional communications tools, including IM and e-mail, had declined by 8% since 2003.

via BBC News – Instant messaging: This conversation is terminated.

In other news today Yahoo and Nokia announced a worldwide partnership. Yahoo will provide e-mail and chat services on Nokia phones. The services will be co-branded.


  • M

    The article implies that more people are using social networking sites instead, accessible via phone browsers and such. Does this imply a greater demand for "smart-phones"?

    Also the article said texting is diminishing, for the same reason.

    • Social networking is taking over all forms of messaging including, but not limited to: email, IM/chat, photo sharing. Smartphone use is more convenient because the SN apps are actually easier to use than the browser access through a regular computer. As a result, SN is one of the most popular activities on smartphones.

  • Tom Ross

    I remember that 5 years ago everybody was thinking that IM would be the next big thing. I wonder how we will look on Facebook in 5 years, or indeed anything in computing that we take for granted today.

    • Indeed. Remember also when MySpace was a Juggernaut. Even LinkedIn. The switching costs for SN/IM are not as high as people think. Everybody thought that IM was enormously sticky because of the buddy lists. Cultivating the list was supposed to be a cost that users would not soon forget. Now the value is supposed to be in the SN "social graph." I don't buy it.