What's Next For Instant Messaging

from the it's-more-than-just-chatting dept

There have been a number of debates about how important “presence” info really is. The believers indicate that it’s in the “next big thing” category, while detractors think that it’s overblown – and people don’t want to give out their presence info. However, in the instant messaging world, it seems people really believe that presence is the killer app that will drive all sorts of new applications. They say that the next step is really using presence info to allow better person-to-machine instant messaging, and eventually machine-to-machine (who needs humans any more?). As one person quoted in the article says, people won’t need to contact a specific person any more, but can contact that person’s “role” via a web service. It all sounds nice, of course, but things like that do leave out the importance of interpersonal relationships – and the fact that people like to deal with people who they feel they can trust. So, if someone I know were to IM me with a question, I’m more willing to answer it than if I received a random instant message from someone I didn’t know because the computer decided that I was the most likely person with the knowledge who was actually “present” at that time.

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