Dulles, Virginia – (The Hosting News) – November 11, 2005 – AOL has conducted an extensive Instant Messaging (IM) survey of more than 4,000 respondents ages 13 and over – between September 16-26. Entitled the ‘Instant Messaging Trends Survey’, the results find IM growing rapidly and penetrating into new areas.
Instant messaging (IM) is up 19
percent year over year and is deeply entrenched in the U.S. with many Americans
sending as many – if not more – IMs than they do emails. Meanwhile, at-work and
mobile messaging have gone mainstream, according to the third annual Instant
Messaging Trends Survey from AOL.
Today, multiple screen names, parental IM rules for teens and rampant “away messaging” are standard across all regions, genders and ages. Instant messaging has taken over as the communications vehicle of choice with 25 percent of users saying they would like to see entertainment content within IM and 20 percent saying they would like to make voice calls to landlines and cell phones directly from their IM service.
Top-line survey findings include:
Email is Old School: Thirty-eight percent say they send as many or more IMs than emails, and the younger users are, the more likely they are to favor IM. Two-thirds (66 percent) of teens and young adults (ages 13-21) say they send more IMs than emails, up from 49 percent last year.
Meet the Parents: More than half (53 percent) of teens (ages 13-17) surveyed say their parents now issue guidelines and rules about instant messaging. Teen boys (55 percent) are more likely to have parental IM rules than are teen girls (50 percent), and fully 65 percent of teens who have rules say they follow them.
Hit the Road: One in three (33 percent) IM users send mobile IMs or text messages from their cell phones at least once a week. This is a dramatic increase over 2004, when just 19 percent said they do so, and 2003 when the figure was 10 percent.
The Sound of Your Voice: Meanwhile, 20 percent say they currently enjoy, or would like to try, making live voice calls to other computers, landlines and cell phones directly from their IM service. Another 12 percent say they would be interested in an IM-based VoIP service that could replace their primary household phone line.
Another Day, Another “Away Message”: Half (47 percent) of those ages 13-21 change their away messages every day, to let others know where they are (71 percent), to list a cell phone number or alternate way to be reached (47 percent) or to post a favorite lyric or quote (47 percent). Seven percent have even posted a call to action, like “Please donate to the Red Cross to help hurricane victims.”
IM Too Busy: At-work IM users now send IMs to communicate with colleagues (58 percent), to get answers and make business decisions (49 percent) and even to interact with clients or customers (28 percent). Twelve percent have used IM at work to avoid a difficult in-person conversation.
I Want IM TV!: One in four (26 percent) IM users say that live streaming television is the one feature they wish was available on their IM service. Music on demand came in second (25 percent) and video on demand was third (21 percent).
According to Chamath Palihapitiya, Vice President and General Manager, AIM and ICQ, America Online, Inc., ”Instant messaging is a part of everyday life, with more and more people using their IM service as a starting point for all communications, from sending mobile messages to friends on cell phones to placing VoIP-based phone calls. Usage is spiking, and not just among teens. Parents, grandparents and professionals are all using instant messaging to stay in touch and enhance their day-to-day communications.”
Nationwide and around the world, instant messaging use is growing, with nearly 12 billion(1) instant messages being sent every day worldwide, according to IDC. ComScore Media Metrix(2) reports that there are more than 300 million people across the globe – and more than 80 million Americans – who regularly use instant messaging as a quick and convenient communications tool.
The AOL Instant Messaging Trends survey of more than 4,000 respondents ages 13 and over was conducted in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation from September 16-26, 2005.
Top 10 Cities and AOL’s Third Annual IM Awards
This year’s survey includes a listing of America’s top ten cities for IM usage and a number of “awards” for unique instant messaging habits of IM users in various cities.
According to the survey, the top ten markets for instant messaging are: 1. Miami, FL; 2. New York, NY; 3. Boston, MA; 4. Chicago, IL; 5. Atlanta, GA; 6. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX; 7. Detroit, MI; 8. San Francisco, CA; 9. Sacramento, CA; 10. Tampa, FL.
The AOL IM Awards include:
The Clark Kent Award: In Dallas/Ft. Worth, IM users are most likely to have multiple screen names in order to maintain an alter-ego (28 percent).
The CU L8R Award: IM users in Phoenix are most likely to use IM lingo when sending instant messages (67 percent), such as GR8 (great) or BRB (be right back).
The ‘Here We Are, Now Entertain Us’ Awards: Atlantans are most likely (34 percent) to want to watch live television on their IM client, while music on demand is the most desired addition (31 percent) for IMers in Houston.
To learn more about the top 10 IM cities and to see the Awards they have won this year from AOL, please visit:: http://www.aim.com/survey?source=US1.
Teens and Instant Messaging
Ninety percent of Internet-savvy teens and young adults say they send instant messages, and 80 percent of those ages 22-34 say the same. Among those with IM rules, 43 percent say they can send instant messages only when their homework is done. Meanwhile, 24 percent can go online for a set amount of time each day or can only send IMs to a group of people known by their parents. Twenty-three percent can IM only at certain hours of the day.
In addition, more than two-thirds (70 percent) of teen IM users think they have about the same number or more buddies on their Buddy List feature as their friends. To get to the bottom of the debate, AIM users can visit http://www.aimfight.com to pit themselves against their friends to find out once and for all who has the bigger Buddy List. To learn more about teens and instant messaging, click here: http://www.aim.com/survey?source=US2
IM in the Workplace
According to IDC, more than 28 million business users worldwide use instant messaging to send nearly 1 billion messages each day at work.(3) Meanwhile, the AOL Instant Messaging Trends survey revealed that more than three in four at-work IM users (77 percent) say that instant messaging has had a positive impact on their work lives. In addition, one in four (25 percent) of at-work IMers say that instant messaging enables them to check in on their children during the workday, providing greater peace of mind.
In addition, among those who use instant messaging for business purposes, 13 percent say they have their IM screen name printed on their business card, while six percent say they write it on the business cards they exchange. New Yorkers appear to be most hip to screen names, with 26 percent having their IM screen names printed on their business cards. To learn more about instant messaging at work, click here: http://www.aim.com/survey?source=US3
One in three (33 percent) IM users say they also send SMS messages or mobile instant messages at least once a week from their cell phone. Nearly half (47 percent) of IM users aged 13-21 engage in text messaging and mobile instant messaging, while 42 percent do the same. Meanwhile, one-quarter (24 percent) of those aged 35-54 say they send messages from their cell phones. To learn more about mobile messaging, click here: http://www.aim.com/survey?source=US4
IM on a Global Scale
The interest in making PC-to-phone calls from the IM service is high around the globe, with Brazil leading the way. In fact, 60 percent of Brazilian IM users want to make PC-to-phone VoIP calls. Meanwhile, 48 percent of IM users in Hong Kong and 45 percent in Germans want to do the same. To learn more global IM trends, click here: http://www.aim.com/survey?source=US5
It’s Who You Know: More than 47 percent of those surveyed say they use more than one IM application. However, AOL remains the leader, with 65 percent of users selecting AOL’s instant messaging services, including the AOL Buddy List feature, the free AIM(R) service (http://www.aim.com) and the global ICQ instant messaging service (http://www.icq.com).