IM Accounts to Number in The Billions

Instant messaging (IM) use is expected to increase over the next four
years with a growing percentage of use by enterprises as well as the general

According to the Radicati Group’s recently released report, “Instant
Messaging Market 2005-2009,” there will be 867 million instant messaging
accounts by the end of 2005. By 2009, the research firm has forecast that there will be 1.2 billion accounts in use.

All told, Radicati pegs the value of the IM market, which includes the
public IM, enterprise IM (EIM) and IM management vendors, to be $142 million
in 2005 which will more than double by 2009 to a forecast $365 million.

In 2005, Radicati estimated that 13.9 billion IMs are sent per day
(12.5 billion on public networks and 1.4 billion on EIM). As the number of
accounts grows usage is expected to increase to 46.5 billion messages per
day by 2009; 39.5 billion of which will be on the public networks while 7
billion will be on EIM.

Radicati analyst Matt Anderson expects EIM traffic to grow
steadily and become a more significant portion of total IM traffic due to
the IM market’s emergence from its infancy stages.

“Instant messaging amongst business organizations is still relatively new
and is still just beginning to really take hold,” Anderson told “Over the past couple of years, instant messaging
was mostly prevalent in financial, energy, health care, and other regulated
industries, but I think we will really begin to see IM permeate a wider
variety of sectors through 2009.”

Anderson added that public IM accounts have grown at a faster pace
than EIM platforms due to the fact that public IM networks are free.

“Many organizations still do not see a need to pay for something that
they can download for free,” Anderson explained.

“But I think as the need
for archiving and logging for compliance reasons grows, along with the need
for protection against the growing number of IM-borne worm and virus
attacks, companies will do one of three things: do nothing; stay on the
public IM networks, but deploy a solution from an IM management vendor, such
as Akonix, FaceTime, or IMlogic; or deploy an enterprise-grade IM platform.

“I think as time goes on, more and more organizations will go with the
latter two options, as they will realize that they need more than what the
public IM networks offer.”

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