Social network service

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Security and archiving

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.

User base

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.


User count



53 million active

September 2006

>100 million total

January 2006


27.2 million active

September 2006

155 million total

April 2005


20 million peak online (majority in China)

3 June 2006

221 million "active" (majority in China)

3 June 2006


11 million peak online

January 2008

>220 million total

October 2007


4 million active


5 million total in Europe alone



3.3 million unique visitors per month

August 2006 Agent

1 million active (daily)

September 2006


1 million active (daily) (majority in Brazil)

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.


35 million total

October 2006, including 4 million mobile users

Yahoo! Messenger

22 million total

September 2006

IBM Lotus Sametime

17 million total (private, in enterprises)

November 2007


6.1 million total

January 2007


5.6 million total

June 2006


4.8 million total (>200,000 outside of South Africa)

10 August 2007. Note that these users are part of the Jabber user base as MXit federates with the Jabber network.


1 million total

October 2006


1 million total

June 2007



October 2007



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