RealNews

Clique of Instant Messagers Expands Into the Workplace

nstant messaging, long associated with teenagers staying up late to chat online with friends, is moving into the workplace with an impact that has started to rival e-mail and the cellphone. Less intrusive than a phone call and more immediate than e-mail, instant messaging is finding users far more quickly than e-mail did when it was first introduced, according to Forrester Research, a technology research firm in Cambridge, Mass. In the last year alone, Forrester said, the number of instant messages has grown by more than 50 percent, so that nearly one-third of American adults are now IM-ing, as it is called, with their children, clients, colleagues and each other. “It really is instant,” said Nancy Elieff, a realtor in South Pasadena, Calif., who recently began using instant messaging to stay in touch with her children in college. “You don’t have to wonder if they’re going to get your message, when they’re going to get your message, if they’re going to write you back. It’s really now.” The growth is driven in part by the availability of free IM software on the Internet, as companies like Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo use it to lure customers to their other services. Full Story

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