IM Usage Growing

From a Computer World article, instant messaging is growing in the U.S. The article is a synopsis of a survey done by AOL. The article points that IM usage is growing, and not just among college students and teens. The article explains that IM usage in the workplace is becoming more common. According to the survey:

Fifty-eight percent of at-work instant messaging users now send IMs to communicate with colleagues, while 49% use IMs to get answers and make business decisions and 28% use it to interact with clients or customers. Twelve percent of at-work IM users have used it to avoid a difficult in-person conversation.

Twenty 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% say they would be interested in an IM-based voice-over-IP (VoIP) service that could replace their primary household phone line.

In Seattle, 47% of at-work IM users are most likely to say things in an instant message that they wouldn’t document in an e-mail message.

More than three in four at-work IM users, 77%, said that instant messaging has had a positive impact on their work lives. In addition, 25% of at-work IMers say that instant messaging enables them to check in on their children during the workday, providing them with greater peace of mind.

While the article states that IM usage is growing, it would probably become a more widely used communication tool if more people were aware of others’ screen names. One way to make more people aware of IM as a communication option is to put your screen name on your business cards. According to the survey, “among those who use instant messaging for business purposes, 13% say they have their IM screen name printed on their business cards, while 6% say they write it on the business cards they exchange.” Is your IM on your business card?

Link via Resource Shelf.