Presence information such as status, availability, mood and location would encourage UK mobile users to communicate more regularly via mobile instant messaging, according to a survey by mobile IM firm Colibria.
Over 80 per cent of respondents interested in mobile IM would be more likely to chat with friends, family and colleagues on their mobile phone if they could see details such as availability or mood.
Social networking sites such as Facebook have seen strong uptake of status update features.
Colibria highlighted what it calls "contextual communication" whereby consumers continually update their status, availability, mood and interests.
Nearly half of those surveyed would update their presence information on their mobile every day, 17 per cent a few times a day and five per cent constantly.
According to Colibria, the results show that users are increasingly keen to be in touch with their peers, and that converged services need to accelerate to meet what is already a growing demand.
"UK mobile users want to develop and express their identities through their mobile phone regardless of where they are or what they are doing, something we call 'rich profile'," said Matt Hooper, executive vice president of marketing at Colibria.
"There are several key building blocks for operator services to evolve and meet this new demand.
"SMS is still an important communication medium, but today's mobile users are also looking towards new technologies such as mobile IM, presence and other multimedia services to enhance levels of interactivity and personal expression. "
Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has forecast that mobile IM and presence technology will drive the market to a value of $6.1bn by 2012.
This is reinforced by Colibria's survey in which the majority of respondents stated that they would be willing to pay to access new generation services. Features such as presence and multimedia sharing are key to delivering the added value required.
Furthermore, it seems that users want these services to be tightly integrated with enhanced messaging services from their operator rather than working as separate entities.
"Mobile users want a combination of operator and internet based services to help them run their lives, which points to a greater focus on creating a fully interconnected world," added Hooper.
The desire to extend these services beyond the desktop goes beyond mobile phones, as two thirds of respondents stated that they would use an instant messaging service to chat to their friends on their TV or via their gaming console.
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