J.D. Power, long known for its customer satisfaction surveys, has done a satisfaction survey of the major IM networks. The results are somewhat surprising (at least to me). Rankings on a 1000 point scale:
791 - Yahoo! MessengerSeeing Yahoo! in the top position was unexpected (I would have thought MSN), but it is also interesting how tightly grouped the rankings are. With a standard deviation of only 20 points, I wonder what the margin of error for the survey is. Also note the absence of ICQ and Skype.
782 - MSN Messenger (includes WLM)
766 - Windows Messenger (preinstalled with XP)
762 - Instant Messaging Average
746 - Google Talk
744 - Trillian
743 - AIM/AOL Instant Messenger
Nevertheless, as we move toward a world with IM interoperability, customer satisfaction becomes much more important, since users will be able to choose the IM network they want to use. The eventual winners will be the networks that focus on the end-users, rather than short-term monetization.
The survey also reported these interesting factoids:
- The percentage of Internet users who use IM on a daily basis, 36%, was essentially unchanged from 2005, while text messaging usage continued to grow.
- IM replaced the use of traditional phones, to some degree, for almost 70% of IM users.