FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jabber Instant Messaging User Base Surpasses ICQ
Fast-Growing Open Network Overtakes IM Originator
Denver, CO - September 22, 2003 - According to ComScore Media Metrix, ICQ -- the original instant messaging (IM) service to gain mass popularity -- claimed a declining user base of 6 million in June of 2003. In this same time period, the Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) estimated that there were nearly 10 million end users of software based on the open Jabber/XMPP protocol. While it is difficult to count distinct Jabber users because the network is growing so fast and includes many servers on large corporate intranets, the JSF's estimate includes more than 4 million paying customers of Jabber, Inc.'s commercial software as well as an estimated 6 million users of open source and other commercial implementations of the Jabber/XMPP protocol.
"This is a fascinating and somewhat ironic development given that the Jabber open source movement was originally designed to connect the users of disparate IM systems," said Peter Saint-Andre, executive director of the Jabber Software Foundation. "It is fascinating because ICQ was the 800 pound gorilla when the Jabber community got started in 1998, and ironic because up until earlier this year, Jabber was the only way of connecting AIM with ICQ. Perhaps we are simply relearning the lesson of email, which is that open protocols and distributed networks ultimately triumph over the closed systems offered by legacy service providers."
ICQ which is owned by America Online, was acquired in 1998 from Mirabalis, Ltd. for $287 million.
About the XMPP Standards Foundation
The XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF) builds open protocols for presence, instant messaging, and real-time communication and collaboration on top of the IETF's Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), and also provides information and infrastructure to the worldwide community of Jabber/XMPP developers, service providers, and end users. Widely considered the lingua franca of instant messaging, XMPP is an Internet standard for presence, real-time messaging, and streaming Extensible Markup Language (XML) data that grew out of the popular Jabber open-source technologies first released in 1999. With approval of XMPP by the IETF in 2004, the XSF continues to develop XMPP extensions that meet the needs of its many stakeholders: open-source and commercial developers (including Apple, HP, Nokia, and Sun), organizations large and small (including the U.S. defense establishment and most Wall Street investment banks), Internet and mobile service providers (including Google, NTT, Portugal Telecom, Twitter, and Facebook), and an estimated 50+ million end users worldwide.