November 10, 2005 9:58 AM PST

Study: Teenagers favor IM over e-mail

Related Stories

Study: IM threats zooming up

November 2, 2005

AIM worm plays nasty new trick

October 28, 2005

Businesses sending 1 billion IMs daily

October 5, 2005

VoIP wants to cut the computer cord

September 26, 2005
Instant messaging is emerging as a favorite communication tool among teenagers and young adults, with a good number of them sending more IMs than e-mails, a new survey says.

Nearly 66 percent of 13- to 21-year-olds say they send more IMs than e-mails, compared with 49 percent last year, according to an America Online-commissioned study of instant messaging trends.

Overall, 38 percent of users say they send as many or more IMs than e-mails.

One-fourth of users would like to see entertainment content within instant messages, while 20 percent want to make phone calls from their messaging service. Already, 33 percent of users send mobile IMs from their cell phones at least once a week. Another 12 percent say they would be interested in an IM-based VoIP service that could replace their primary household phone line, the survey said.

The study is based on a poll of more than 4,000 users, conducted in partnership with Opinion Research Corporation during the last week of September. About 80 million people in the U.S. regularly use IM, AOL said, quoting data from ComScore Media Metrix.

IM is getting popular at work as well, with 58 percent of people using it to communicate with colleagues; 49 percent for getting answers and making business decisions. Some are also using it to deal with clients or "to avoid a difficult in-person conversation." A majority of users at work, 77 percent, feel instant messaging has had a positive effect on their work lives. About 13 percent say they have their IM screen name printed on their business cards.

"Instant messaging is a part of everyday life, with more and more people using their IM service as a starting point for all communications," Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president of AIM and ICQ at America Online, said in a statement. "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."


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Seems like old news
I remember being online years ago when AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and many of the others joined the messenging game. It was like a flood had hit the network. It truly did not take long before faster connection speeds were necessary just to get into your favorite chat rooms. After awhile things sorta moved away from the chat rooms and went straight to IM's Though chat rooms are still used for group discussions you see more IM'ing going on then actual participation in inside rooms. I have seen many dedicated sites die off due to lack of user participation and credit this to the Instant messaging giants we have today.
Posted by MA5 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
We use IM for development purposes
We use IM for development purposes
Sometimes people are telecommuting or in a different office. I must say it improves productivity a lot compared to sending emails with code attached and then waiting for replies. Or sometimes people are on the phone, with IM they can still be reached while they are talking on the phone

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Did this require a study
I can't believe that anybody that has been alive for the past two years wouldn't know that text messaging and IM are about the only thing the kids and teens want to do all day long everyday, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Are there still people living in caves? Maybe that is who the study is for.

I need to get e job where I get to "study" the completely obvious.

Here are some good topics to start with:

People like to breath more than they like to not breath.

How about swimming can cause you to get wet more than not swimming will. Of course there would be a follow-up on the effect of rain on people being wet.
Posted by SteveBarry687 (170 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IM Offers Untapped Avenues for Business
I believe that this survey is important in defining how consumer behavior is changing. IM offers untapped avenues for business. For example, a marketing research company by the name of Firepoll ( accentuates their expertise in communicating with teens by using a new IM technology that allows them to serve up surveys to teens on behalf of interested marketers. The advantages I see are: its fast, its innovative, and its communication along channels that the audience (teens) are positively exposed to. This then translates to better results for the marketers.

What other ways could IM be used?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Only 66%?
I would think it's more like 90%. I know of no teenager that uses email on a regular basis to communicate. I send hundreds more IMs than emails and have for quite a while.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.