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Adults E-Mail, Teens IM

Some things are better said at a distance.

December 3, 2007

Nearly half of teens ages 13 to 18 use instant messaging, according to an AP-AOL study conducted by Knowledge Networks.

Three-quarters of adults said they sent more e-mails than instant messages. The ratio was nearly reversed for teens, many of whom liked the distance that IM put between them in some conversations.

"I've had some crazy ex-girlfriends," said Lewis Grove, 19, a college sophomore from Heath, Ohio. "Saying that in person would probably not be the best idea for my physical safety."

Only about one in five adults said they used instant messaging.

US Teen and Adult Instant Messaging (IM) Users Who Use E-Mail More Than IM, 2006 & 2007 (% of respondents)

People reported IMing slightly less than they did in a similar AP-AOL survey last year. Industry analysts said they believe IM usage is growing, and the study suggested that people could be confused about whether to include IMs sent from mobile phones and Websites.

Frost & Sullivan projected the global market for all mobile messaging services—SMS, MMS, mobile IM and mobile e-mail—to exceed $100 billion by 2010.

Mobile Messaging Revenues Worldwide, by Type, 2006-2010 (billions and CAGR*) eMarketer’s projection for 2011 for the carriers’ total global messaging revenues is $108 billion.

Learn why mobile messaging is the dominant platform for mobile marketing. Read eMarketer's Mobile Message Marketing report.

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