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North America Trails The Rest Of The World In IM: Study

The percentage of people who use instant messaging (IM) in North America significantly lags behind other parts of the world, according to a study released by comScore Networks. The study found that 37 percent of the North American online population used IM in February, compared to 64 percent in Latin America, and 49 percent in Europe.

The most popular IM client worldwide is MSN Messenger, according to the study, with 61 percent of worldwide IM users accessing the application in February, the study found. MSN Messenger is particularly dominant in Latin America, reaching more than 90 percent of IM users, and is also popular in Europe and Asia Pacific, with 70 percent of IM users respectively.

North America, by way of contrast, is wide open when it comes to IM clients, the study says. It found that MSN Messenger, AOL/Aim and Yahoo! Messenger each had between 27 percent and 37 percent of IM users in February.

The VoIP/IM client Skype is gaining ground through most of the world, though not in North America, the study found. It claims that Skype is used by 14 percent of IM users worldwide, but only three percent of the North American online population uses it. Skype is most popular in Asia Pacific, where it reaches 26 percent of IM users.