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Mobile IM Usage Nearly Doubles

  |  August 27, 2004   |  Comments

Instant message users are all thumbs, as mobile usage grows.

There may soon be another communications-driven figure accompanying the walking/talking headset-wearing cell phone user – the mobile instant messaging (IM) [define] user. According to America Online Inc.'s second annual IM survey, these thumb boarders are hitting the streets and nearly doubling in population.

The summer 2004 survey of 4,510 respondents, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, found that 19 percent of mobile IM users currently send instant and short message service (SMS) [define] communications, while only 10 percent said they engaged in the activity in 2003.

The survey also found that IM users reportedly sent messages from their mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs) from crowded public places or clandestinely.

Locations Where Mobile
IM is Most Frequently Used
Crowded public transportation 36%
Sporting events 25%
Busy meetings 23%
Campus classrooms 22%
Hospitals 12%
Source: AOL and Opinion Research Corp.

Business and pleasure seem to be among the most popular uses for mobile messaging. Roughly one-third of those who use mobile messaging does so to keep in touch with the office and make business decisions while traveling, and nearly three-quarters of business mobile messengers use IM or SMS when they don't have time for a phone conversation.

The IM Dating Game
Those who used mobile messaging for romance 31%
Those who used mobile messaging for flirting 25%
Those who accepted a date via mobile message 14%
Those who sent mobile messages while on a bad date 10%
Those who broke up with romantic partner
via mobile message
Source: AOL and Opinion Research Corp.

Enpocket revealed another area where U.S. text messaging has grown. The company's Q3 2004 report of mobile usage showed that 3 percent of adult phone users sent a text message to a TV show, and 2 percent have sent a text message to a radio station – both activities have doubled in usage since Q2 2004.


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