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Instant Messenger Services Brace for Google's Entry

  |  August 24, 2005   |  Comments

Google Talk enters the instant messenger space at a time when IM client market share diminishes.

Google arrived today in the IM space with Google Talk, a client offering both text and audio chat. According to data released by Nielsen//NetRatings, the growth of existing IM solutions tapered in July.

Combined, all instant messaging client users equaled 81.7 million in July, down from just short of 82 million in June of 2005. Skype Messenger climbed 10.6 percent from June to July of this year, holding the fourth rank in the instant messenger space. AOL Instant Messenger experienced a slight dip in unique users; MSN Messenger Service, Trillian, ICQ, and Paltalk.com saw greater losses in the same time period.

U.S. Consumer Long Distance/Local Carrier Destinations, July 2005
Brand Unique Audience, June 2005 (000) Unique Audience, July 2005 (000) Growth (%)
All long distance/local carriers 6,697 6,659 -1
Vonage 3,467 3,382 -2
Skype 1,047 1,300 24
RCN 818 754 -8
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, August 2005

Google Talk will also compete with long distance and local carriers offering audio chat capabilities. Skype experienced 24 percent growth from June to July to reach the number two among long distance and local carriers. In the same period, Vonage.com and RCN fell by two and eight percent, respectively.

U.S. Consumer Instant Messaging Destinations, July 2005
Brand Unique Audience, June 2005 (000) Unique Audience, July 2005 (000) Growth (%)
All instant messaging services 81,956 81,747 -0.3
AOL Instant Messenger 54,433 54,291 -0.3
MSN Messenger 27,861 27,558 -1.1
Yahoo Messenger 20,633 21,354 3.5
Skype 864 956 10.6
Trillian 1,012 882 -12.8
ICQ 782 679 -13.2
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, August 2005

Google Talk will integrate with Gmail and Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), a technology used by Jabber, Adium, and iChat. The software also supports audio chat.

Data from Nielsen//NetRatings features month-over-month unique user comparisons for top instant messenger and VoIP players.

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Enid Burns

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