Email to IM

A recent report by IDC, an advisory and
market intelligence company for information technology, instant messaging is
making headway with businesses and individuals, causing some to suggest it will
replace email.

A recent report by IDC, an advisory and market intelligence company for information technology, says instant messaging is making headway with businesses and individuals, causing some to suggest it will replace email.

I talked to the CEO of a virtual company recently about her belief that email is dead. It is being replaced by instant messaging, she says. Her own company already relies on instant messaging for its four key management executives, each of whom works in a different city.

Her experience is that instant messages reveal more about the senders than email, making it easier to communicate more effectively. She also says IM is already well established among youth. No longer a technology needing introduction, it’s a fact of life.

It’s also a fact of life in many parts of the world. In Asia, Africa, Scandinavia and most of Europe, it’s also the preferred mode of communication. The figures are staggering. IDC says 28 million business users send 1 billion instant messages daily.

It’s not the number of users that take your breath, it’s the number of messages. Where this takes us is, of course, also interesting. Each new form of communication technology changes us in ways we don’t anticipate. The people I talk with who rely on IM say it’s a great tool. They are mostly personal users, not business types. They tell me IM is just another way to communicate. It has become an integral part of their personal relationships. If you’re using IM, I’d be interested to hear how you use it and how it’s affected your life.

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