Instant Messaging isn’t dead – it’s not even resting – but that doesn’t stop people pronouncing the poor thing out for the count. The BBC reckoned here that the conversation has been terminated.
Straight out, they’ve got a point of course – who goes on MSN or Yahoo chat these days? So fun in the early 00s, so not happening right now.
Back in 2007, 14% of Britons’ online time was spent instant messaging, according to the UK Online Measurement company – but that has fallen to just 5% in 2010.
But of course the format isn’t dead – it’s just in other places: Facebook Chat, Blackberry Messenger, Google Wave, G-Chat, even Skype. New cross-platform messenging app Whatsapp should see it flooding out to a whole range of smartphones.
Few people are going to sites that uniquely do instant messaging, but it’s too good to die: the instant nature makes it just a bit more useful than text messaging and just a bit quicker than email, and easier to save and reference than phone conversations. It’s not something I use everyday… but I would definitely miss it if it went, and I think that functionality is going to spread through the internet. It’s already an integral part of social networking, and I think mobile phone use will send it through the roof.
Can we just remind everyone of that Google Wave video where some genuis wrote out the famous shooting scene in Pulp Fiction? Amazing things can be done with instant messaging.
But it’s the bread and butter stuff not the fancy bits which will save it and I think cross-platform mobile chat is where it’s headed.