A poll of 500 users is hardly indicative of anything statistically relevant in most parts of the world, but according to a survey of 500 broadband users in South Africa, Skype beats MSN, Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger as the most popular VoIP/ VoIM soft client. [via VoIP Central, The VoIP Weblog]
Not a surprising verdict, given the cheap and free calls, but Skype is actually behind MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger in total downloads around the world. So technically, Skype is not the most popular in the world, although I think that may change, especially in North America, where Skype-to-phone calls are free until the end of the year. (There are similar promotions in Hong Kong and Paris, but with some limitations.)
That said, I’d pick Skype as my fave for calling pc-to-phone, Google Talk for pc-to-pc calls, and SightSpeed for video calling. Still, because of clients, friends and other contacts, I also regularly use Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and AIM Pro or variations of it. Finally, I’d also be using Gizmo Project and Hullo if I actually knew anyone who uses them. Not dissing them, because I do like them, but they simply are not used as much. Yet.