The rise and rise of Instant Messaging
According to the latest survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 42% of online Americans use instant messaging, and 24% of instant messagers say they use IM more frequently than email. This translates to 53 million American adults who instant message and over 12 million who IM more than emailing. On a typical day, 29% of instant messengers– or roughly 15 million American adults — use IM.
The new survey also finds that instant messaging is especially popular among younger adults and technology enthusiasts. 62% of Americans aged between 18 and 27 use IM. Within that age group, 46% report using IM more frequently than email.
Hmmm… There are serious security issues here — for example, the risk of an explosion in Spim (Spam over Instant Messaging). The anti-virus industry is concerned because viruses introduced via IM could replicate even faster than those borne by email. One of the companies has produced a scary simulation model of this, but I can’t locate it just now.