"Since 1999, when AOL served 100 percent of IM users, AOL confronted two major new IM entrants, Yahoo! and Microsoft, as well as numerous smaller entrants," the application continues, citing figures from industry researcher Media Metrix, now part of comScore Networks. "As a result, AOL has experienced a substantial decline in its IM share. Its share of unduplicated, all-location users has fallen from 100 percent to 58.5 percent in just three and one-half years."
There we have it. AOL is a bit over half the IM market. That means Yahoo and Microsoft probably have something close to 25% each. Those numbers are from April 2003, so it's anybody's guess as to which direction they've gone since then.
Thanks to Jim for the pointer to newer stats.
Update: He also IM'd me a a CNet article from August which says:
Although AOL's AIM and ICQ together make up the largest IM network, MSN and Yahoo are making strides. In March 2003, AIM had 31.9 million unique users while ICQ had 28.3 million, according to ComScore Media Metrix. MSN Messenger reached 23.1 million unique users while Yahoo Messenger reached 19 million. Both Microsoft and Yahoo launched IM clients with virtually zero market share.
So there we go. It's really a four horse race.
Another Update: Based on the international feedback rolling in, it would seem that the "A" in "AOL" really does mean America. The Microsoft Monopoly is indeed strong overseas. Interesting.
Posted by jzawodn at January 25, 2004 08:05 PM