Engineering Messenger (IM) to help people connected in more meaningful ways

Piero Sierra of Windows Live messenger and Live Mail, posted about how the team tries to make Messenger (IM) experience more meaningful and natural. For e.g., typing indicator, this little message “user is typing” tells that your friend is still “talking” so you can wait for him to finish, just as in a face-to-face talk […]

Piero Sierra of Windows Live messenger and Live Mail, posted about how the team tries to make Messenger (IM) experience more meaningful and natural. For e.g., typing indicator, this little message “user is typing” tells that your friend is still “talking” so you can wait for him to finish, just as in a face-to-face talk you’d let other finish speaking before you answer. Another e.g. of making conversation more natural is the usage of emoticons, winks and nudges. Winks got added in 2005 and nowadays users exchange about 240 million winks a month. They also look at voice, video, and photos. Some numbers:

  • average length of a Messenger session is 9-11 minutes
  • 59% of sessions are over 5 minutes, with about 10% over 20 minutes long
  • 1.6 billion sessions per month are over 30 minutes long
  • People use Messenger to exchange over 380 million photos a month —over 4.5 billion photos a year in addition to tens of billions of photos people also share each month via Windows Live SkyDrive and Hotmail
  • Messenger users have 230 million voice & video conversations per month
  • Average voice session length is about 18.2 minutes
  • 9% of video calls and 13% of voice calls are longer than 1 hour
  • Usage of international voice and video sessions differ geographically.