Instant messaging is a big part of internet activity amongst 12-25 year old people. Where will this market go next?
I think this market is booming largely in part to high school and college age people. One of my high shool teachers themed his class after the phrase, "History is driven by impressing your friends". This applies to this industry as well because people want to stay in touch with their friends and keep them updated on what they are doing and what they have acomplished. This industry is already expanding into things that are focused on college students such as facebook and high school student such as myspace. This isn't technically "instant" messaging but it has the same concept of staying in touch with friends and communicating. As for where this industry will go, I think it will expand to where you can create an entire profile with pictures and blogs and personal information. Currently you can write a blurb about yourself in your profile but that is the extent of it. I think this will expand but I dont see anywhere that the actual messaging can improve except for speed and they are continually updating that on a regular basis. There are now extensions of the current product that have made this "industry" advance to reach their target market.