Online Chatters Among Heaviest Web Users

People who chat online are among the heaviest users of the Internet, according to research by NetValue, which found chatters generate twice as many online sessions as the general Internet user.

NetValue found chatters to be online more than 17 days a month, and also discovered chatters to be heavy users of other Internet protocols, particularly audio-video streaming (used by 54 percent of chatters), secured connections (92 percent), and instant messaging (59 percent). Not surprisingly, chatters send and receive more than twice as many emails as the general Internet population. Male chatters send and receive more than three times as many emails as the general male Internet user.

Chatters clicked on an average of 4.8 banners in December, which is almost double that of the general Internet population, and their unique page views are also more than double the overall Internet population.

“When it comes to defining the typical chat room participant, there is no significant gender gap in the percentage of chat users,” said Jim Hatch, president of NetValue. “However, there are considerable differences in their demographic profiling. For example, 8.1 percent of female chatters defined their occupation as professional, compared to 27.1 percent of male chatters. Additionally, female chatters spend two more days per month chatting than do males.”

More than half (50.7 percent) of female chatters are under age 35, according to NetValue’s research, while more than half (56.2 percent) are older than 34. Perhaps alluding to the popularity of chat with teenage girls (whose long-recognized domination of the telephone may be evolving to include chat), nearly 20 percent of female chatters earn $0 to $5,400 annually. Almost 22 percent of male chatters are in the $27,000 to $36,000 bracket.

The Internet sectors with the highest concentration of chat users are the personals, with more than 16 percent, and the movie sector (15 percent). Science and technology (14 percent); the family sector (13 percent); and the adult sector (12 percent) are also popular with chatters.

Top Instant Messaging Applications
Application Reach % Unique

AOL Instant Messenger 18.4 15.6
MSN Messenger 15.6 13.2
ICQ 10.5 8.9
Yahoo Messenger 9.8 8.3
* number of people who opened the application
Source: NetValue

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