In the early 2000s, a new class of IT security provider emerged to provide remedies for the risks and liabilities faced by corporations who chose to use IM for business communications. The IM security providers created new products to be installed in corporate networks for the purpose of archiving, content-scanning, and security-scanning IM traffic moving in and out of the corporation. Similar to the e-mail filtering vendors, the IM security providers focus on the risks and liabilities described above.
With rapid adoption of IM in the workplace, demand for IM security products began to grow in the mid-2000s. By 2007, the preferred platform for the purchase of security software had become the "appliance", according to IDC, who estimate that by 2008, 80% of network security products will be delivered via an appliance.
Note that many of the numbers listed in this section are not directly comparable, and some are speculative. Some instant messaging systems are distributed among many different instances and thus difficult to measure in total (e.g. Jabber). While some numbers are given by the owners of a complete instant messaging system, others are provided by commercial vendors of a part of a distributed system. Some companies may be motivated to inflate their numbers in order to increase advertisement earnings or to attract partners, clients, or customers. Importantly, some numbers are reported as the number of "active" users (without a shared standard of that activity), others indicate total user accounts, while others indicate only the users logged in during an instance of peak usage.
February 2007. Total count cannot be accurately estimated due to the decentralized nature of the protocol.
40-50 million total
January 2007, based on calculations of Jabber Inc
90 million total
Based on calculations of Process-One: Process-One uses ejabberd as Jabber server software. If it is assumed that ejabberd has a 40% market share amongst public and private open source server deployments, there are 50 million users using open source servers. With Jabber Inc's numbers, this adds up to the 90 million number stated here.