FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, July 29, 2005

Could IM Replace E-mail?

Judging by the way young people use the Internet, instant messaging may one day replace e-mail as the messaging technology of choice.

A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that, unlike their elders, only 5% of young people aged 12 to 17 preferred e-mail over IM. This matters because, within a few years, these kids will enter the workforce and will help set their employers' technology strategies. Even now, they represent an important and lucrative market that is not going unnoticed by youth-oriented marketers such as Disney, which is dipping its toe into the cell phone business.

Already, enterprises are seeing the value of IM, including its immediately and ability to announce presence and availability to groups. As enterprise IM platforms offer more security and auditing features, they will surely become more popular over time.

E-mail remains popular, however, and won't go away entirely -- at least not for a long time. But with the rise of IM, it may well lose its dominance sooner than we realize.

Source: Forbes