Three weeks after reporting that Google Talk had a minuscule user base of 44,000 in the US, Comscore, a respected information resource is about to release an updated report, sources say. We have contacted Comscore via an email. Since its already late at night, we don’t expect an answer up until tomorrow morning, hopefully with an updated dataset.
The controversy over the total number of Google Talk users erupted following an article in The New York Times. The numbers sounded awfully low, and the anecdotal evidence suggested otherwise. We asked folks over at Comscore, and they pointed out that there were 976,000 people who had Google Talk application installed on their desktops, and there were 44,000 active users. (The total user base, Comscore spokesperson was much large on a global basis.)
We posed the question to our readers, and were treated to a lively debate. About 568 GigaOM readers participated in a online poll, and the results provided anecdotal evidence that the Gtalk numbers might be a tad under reported. Nearly 39% said, they were Gtalkrs.
The vociferous debate indicated that the 44,000 number might actually be a subset of total number of users, since quite a few folks were using Google Talk either as part of their iChat or were using other clients such as Trillian, or Adium. There was the whole mobile aspect of Google Talk which has become quite the rage with Blackberry users. The usage of Gtalk within GMail has also got some traction. There are several other ways of accessing IM clients these days. New browser-based IM services such as Meebo have become quite popular.
We asked Seth Sternberg, CEO and founder of IM service, Meebo, how many people were using Gtalk on his service. “Jabber accounts account for approx 2-
33% of Meebo’s logins. hence, on any given day we probably have 13,000-19,500 jabber logins,” he said. “What percentage of those jabber users are Gtalk users, I don’t really know.”
While, his answers did not lift the fog surrounding the issue, it is becoming obvious that in this era of mash-ups and web-based services, it is hard to get an accurate handle on traffic and other web metrics. The installed software can only be seen as a part of the big picture.
Now we wait till tomorrow morning to get some clarity!