Yahoo and MSN have the top messengers, Yahoo Mail the top free e-mail

Nearly 60% of residential Internet service subscribers are also users of an instant messaging service, according to a new study from J.D. Power and Associates. Although instant messaging usage is highest among 18- to 24-year-olds (82% subscribe to an IM service), its popularity remains high even among Internet subscribers over 45, with 54% using an IM service. 64% of women say they use an instant messaging service, compared to 53% of men. Among instant messaging services, Yahoo and MSN’s services rate particularly high with subscribers.

While 53% of respondents say they primarily use their ISP?s e-mail service, usage is high among pure web mail providers, with 20% indicating Yahoo Mail as their primary provider, 13% using MSN Hotmail, and 9% using AOL Mail. E-mail services that perform well with customers include EarthLink, Road Runner and AOL for Broadband. Pure web mail providers that perform well include Yahoo Mail and Netscape Mail. Among online search providers, 45% of respondents say they primarily use Google, while 22% use Yahoo Search, 10% use MSN Search, 7% use AOL Search, 6% primarily use the Internet address bar, 3% use Ask Jeeves, and 4% use others. Top-rated search functions include Google, Ask Jeeves, and Yahoo Search.