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IM Is In

Talk on the phone without moving your lips.

Mobile phones are good for more than talking-an increasing number of entrepreneurs now use them for instant messenger (IM) applications, too.

"Instant messaging is a breakthrough technology," says Glen Vondrick, 45, president and CEO of FaceTime Communications Inc., a Foster City, California, developer of IM tools. "Business communication has always been about speed, and IM-ing is fast."

Even better, in public areas that have banned mobile phones, you can still use IM. Plus, it's discreet: Use a mobile phone to discuss sensitive business, and anybody can overhear you. Conduct the same conversation via IM, and it's private. So private, in fact, that the most ardent adopters of wireless IM are corporate lawyers and financial analysts.

IMs are chiefly being used to send and receive hot sales leads, but expect wider business adoption in coming months as the idea of information in an instant gains momentum.


Robert McGarvey is the author of How to Dotcom (Entrepreneur Press).

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This article was originally published in the November 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: IM Is In.

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