Near East UniversityFERHAT SERTELWINDOWS LIVE MESSENGER HISTORYENG 204GULSEN HUSSEIN
Windows Live Messenger – a short history The instant messaging category got going in earnest around 1996 with the debut of ICQ, around the same time that Hotmail was founded. Over the next two years, each of what are now the leading IM services launched in rapid succession: AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, QQ, and our own MSN Messenger
Over the following six years, instant messaging services asa category enjoyed explosive, viral growth, ultimatelyreaching well over half a billion active users sharinghundreds of billions of messages every month.Like every major new communications paradigm over thepast 20+ years, the thirst and demand that people have toconnect, communicate, and share with one another isnearly limitless. E-mail didn’t disrupt or reduce phoneusage – it added to it. IM didn’t disrupt or reduce e-mail –it added to it. The same goes for mobile phones and textmessaging, and the same too, for social networking overthe past 5 years.
That’s interesting to keep in mind – especially for readers in the United States,where the IM trends (and particularly Messenger’s popularity) have beensomewhat less positive. On the one hand, as users ourselves, we’re all dailyparticipants in the rise of Facebook, MySpace, QQ, and the overall "social" categoryof web services around the world, and it’s awesome to see our partners’ successes.Today, social networking services as a whole drive a similar number of minutes as e-mail or IM. Even though globally, e-mail and IM have basically peaked and leveledoff, people continue to spend roughly the same amount of time using them, whilesocial networks have grown to match. And even with all of that new activity, thosesame people are still connecting, communicating, and sharing more than ever withthe people they care about via IM. And yes, it really is mainly the same people –for example, globally, 44% of people who use Facebook in a given month also useHotmail or Messenger in that same month, and vice versa 66% of monthlyMessenger users also use Facebook, according to Comscore.
The original social networks IM services really were the original "social networks." They first popularized the notions of viral invitations and social graphs, real-time and asynchronous messaging with friends, sharing of status messages and other content, online activities and casual games to enjoy with your friends, and rich personal expression—from the humble emoticon , to winks, nudges, and more. IM services have always been optimized for sharing among a close circle of friends, and really pivoted around online presence and real-time conversations more than connecting you to your content and activities from the rest of the Web. Combining the social focus of instant messaging with the fact that IM clients are installed by default on the vast majority of PCs and are generally "always on" means theres a great opportunity for collaboration and integration between traditional IM services like Messenger and the wide range of social networks and other sites that our joint users are already on. You’ve already seen Windows Live and other leading IM services come out with social networking features like our Whats new feed, and there is much more to come. So given that basic context, let’s walk through some fun facts about Messenger…
People still IM… a lot More than 300 million people in 76 countries and 48 languages use Messenger every month they say “I you” and “LOL” not only in English, Spanish, German and Japanese (the first 4 languages we offered) but also in Chinese, Estonian, Thai, Catalan, Hindi, and many more. Messenger users now represent: 65% of all Internet users in Brazil 48% of all Internet users in Canada 48% of all Internet users in Spain 47% of all Internet users in France 40% of all Internet users in Italy 39% of all Internet users in UK People use Messenger for 163 billion minutes every month, which is about 9.4% of all time consumers spend on the Internet worldwide. More than 40% of our users sign in each day (more than 130 million daily users) Every day, those users share over 1.5 billion conversations and send more than 9 billion messages. And at peak times, that drives more than 40 million “simultaneous online connections,” (the number of people signed in at the same time).
Status messages, profile pictures,and other personal expression Messenger and other instant messaging apps really were the first places that hundreds of millions of people started updating their status messages for their friends, and including emoticons and other kinds of fun personal expression online. Messenger users still do that a lot, right alongside more recently popular activities like social networking and mobile text messaging.
Messenger users share over 1 billion status updates every month Those users often click through from the Messenger client to the Web, helping drive more than 300 million users to Windows Live Profile, Home, and SkyDrive every month. With the Messenger application on Facebook, you can use the “always on” Messenger client on your PC to automatically update your Facebook status. Likewise, with the Windows Live web activities partnerships with 74 sites around the world like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, Hyves, and more, you can share your status updates and activities on those sites with your Messenger friends, in the What’s New feed in the main Messenger window. Just like ring tones and phone skins, people love emoticons and other forms of personal expression they use to adorn Messenger and their IM conversations– sharing tens of millions of profile picture updates each month, purchasing millions of emoticon packs, and using other fun features like Messenger scenes that add a personal touch to how their friends see them in Messenger.
Looking ahead Like Hotmail, Messenger is one of the largest scale communication and sharing services in the world, with a strong 10 year history of reliability, performance, and innovation. Were particularly proud of Messengers role in the history of helping people connect, communicate, and share online with the people they care about most, and were working hard every day on new ways for Messenger to keep playing that role as a great partner to the modern web ecosystem around us. In upcoming posts we’ll talk more about how Messenger is built, how people are using different Messenger features, and how we’re thinking about the evolution of our role as a social application. Until then, I hope you’ll continue to use Messenger and to keep the feedback and comments coming!