Meebo, Google Talk Gaining On AIM, MSN
Though they have a long way to go (a really long way), instant messaging services that offer chat or multimedia chat functionalities are growing the fastest among IM providers, according to new numbers from Nielsen//NetRatings.
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Among the fastest growing is Meebo, from where users can log in to several different IM clients without downloading an application. Between August 2006 and June 2007, Meebo grew by 354 percent from 434,000 users to 1.972 million.
Multimedia chat providers IMVU, which allows users to create interactive avatars grew by 154 percent over the same time period, from 491,000 users to 1.248 million.
Google Talk beats the other two in number of users, but is third in triple-digit growth, spiking 149 percent to increase from 904,000 users to 2.252 million.
“Now that instant messaging has become an established form of communication, providers are seeking to distinguish themselves with expanded access and additional functionalities. These recent trends in traffic indicate that users are excited about seeing where the technology is going next,” said Jason Lee, media analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.
However, they’ve all a long row to hoe to catch up with AIM, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo, all of whom have tens of millions of users.