comScore Networks, the leader in digital media measurement, today released the results of an analysis of instant messenger (IM) usage in various parts of the world. According to the study, eighty-two million people, or 49 percent of the European online population, used IM applications to communicate online in February. In comparison, sixty-nine million people in North America, or only 37 percent of the online population, used IM during the same timeframe. Interestingly, the analysis showed that IM is most heavily used in the Latin American region, with 64 percent of the online population using IM in February. The MSN Messenger application has the strongest penetration worldwide, with 61 percent of worldwide IM users utilizing the application in February. MSN Messenger is also dominant in Latin America, reaching more than 90 percent of IM users, and in Europe and Asia Pacific, reaching more than 70 percent of IM users in each region. North America is the most competitive IM market, with MSN Messenger, AOL/Aim and Yahoo! Messenger each garnering between 27 percent and 37 percent of IM users in February. Additional IM programs are gaining ground, especially outside of North America. Skype is now used by 14 percent of IM users worldwide, although this application is used by only 3 percent of the online population in North America. Skype appears most popular in Asia Pacific, reaching 26 percent of the region’s IM user population.