Analytics firm comScore Networks announced Monday the results of its February measurement of instant messenger usage around the world, with Europe surpassing the United States in IM users for the first time. MSN Messenger was also ranked as the most used client, garnering 61 percent of the worldwide market.
According to the survey, 82 million people in Europe use instant messaging software, amounting to 49 percent of the online population. In the United States only 69 million of people use IM, or 37 percent of the online population. Latin America had the highest IM penetration covering 64 percent of Web users.
MSN Messenger has a strong hold over the market thanks to 90 percent reach in Latin America and 70 percent in Europe and Asian Pacific markets. Microsoft's IM client is still neck and neck with AOL Instant Messenger in the United States, however, with Yahoo! Messenger trailing closely behind.
comScore also noted that new IM clients are beginning to gain a foothold outside of the U.S., with voice calling software Skype leading the charge. Skype is used by 14 percent of all instant messenger users worldwide, although that includes only three percent of the online population in the United States.
Asia Pacific has the most voice chatters, says comScore, with Skype being used by 26 percent of that region's active IM population.