Reuters and Microsoft have developed Reuters Messaging with the support of more than 30 financial institutions. The product meets the financial industry's security and regulatory compliance requirements, including storing and auditing of all messages.
About 1,100 companies in 85 countries have signed up for Reuters Messaging, according to the company. The service will also be part of Reuters' premium desktop services.
Reuters' 15,000 employees can also use Reuters Messaging for customer contacts and to communicate with colleagues, the company said. The application includes features that are available in standard instant messaging products, including allowing users to see who is online and to hold one-to-one or group conversations.
Instant messaging is rapidly gaining popularity among business users, but free instant messaging software lacks security features critical for corporate use, according to analysts.
Nearly half of the 506 million instant messaging users expected online by 2006 will be business users, according to a recent report from research company IDC.