The companies on Tuesday said they will collaborate to develop integrated antispam products for corporate customers. The combined products will be aimed at combating "spim," as experts have dubbed IM spam.
Spim affects only a small number of people today, but the problem is growing. It accounts for between 5 percent and 8 percent of all business IM communications, according to The Yankee Group. According to data from Radicati Group, 400 million spim messages were sent in 2003. That number is likely to jump to 1.5 billion at the end of 2004, representing a growth rate triple that of traditional e-mail spam.
Internet companies like America Online have begun addressing the problem by taking action against spammers, lobbying for legal prohibitions against junk e-mail, and creating technological hindrances to automated spam-sending mechanisms.
"IM continues to grow at an exponential rate within the corporate world, and enterprises are rapidly deploying solutions to secure IM usage," Francis de Souza, CEO of IMlogic, said in a statement. "Partnering with a leader such as Brightmail will ensure that spammers are not able to exploit IM as a new delivery vehicle for spam."