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.
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.