Apr 18

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Meebo:IM in the cloud

I've slowly started to move most of online life away from my personal machines and into the cloud. I never thought that I would do that with IM. For some reason it has always seemed very client based and I never pictured myself being satisfied with a web based app. That started to change a couple of months ago with GChat, Google's slick web IM client. I'm always in Gmail and so it was very convenient for chatting with my other friends who use Gmail, but that's the rub. It only let me chat with other people on their network and not any of the other major ones.

Last week I met Meebo (and one of its co-founders, Seth). Meebo is a an AJAX IM site. Using the site, I can connect to my MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, and GTalk/Jabber IM networks. It's like Trillian or Adium, but on the web. I really like the fact that I can just go to their site, login to my existing networks and start chatting away. The Meebo team has really focused on making the service snappy and it almost feels like I am using a client. In fact the only thing that will prevent me from using the service full-time is the lack of a robust notification system (unless I am in the browser I don't know that i've received an IM, ironically it will take client software to solve this issue).

While I am using Meebo out of convenience the majority of their users use it out of necessity. The main reason people use Meebo is that they have no other method of IMing. They are behind a firewall or on a machine without admin privileges. By supplying their users with such a basic need they have gained a lot of love. They've also done an excellent job of opening up Meebo via their blog. Seth was telling me that their users help them handle qustions in their forums. Another example of this love is when they decided that they would translate the service into a couple of different languages. Their users offered to assist and in 3 days the necessary strings were translated into 15 different languages. When they shipped 3 weeks later, they had 30 completed languages. Pretty amazing.

Meebo has a bright future. They have received funding from Sequoia and their traffic is growing. In their latest blog post they reflect on how they now see over 14 million IM conversations a day. Thier immediate plans are focused on making the site stickier and more fully-featured.

tags:   | comments: 3   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

0 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blogs.oreilly.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-t.cgi/4573

Comments: 3

  Dharmesh Shah [04.18.06 06:04 AM]

I think Meebo is definitely useful.

One quick note: Instead of saying "they now see over 14 million IM conversations", this may be be better stated as "now, over 14 million IM conversations happen over Meebo".

The paranoid among us may be concerned if they are "seeing" 14 million IM conversations a day. :)

  George Ott [04.27.06 02:41 PM]

Great service, but I still feel strange giving my usernames and passwords to a 3rd party. I guess I'm just paranoid.

  Gavin [12.06.06 06:11 AM]

You guyz should really meet up with eBuddy in Europe. These guys are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

From what I've read and heard they are Meebo's biggest competitor, if not the biggest online messenger competitor!

eBuddy however only supports MSN, Yahoo and AIM, but their application compared to that of Meebo is really nice and rich in features.

They've been in the mkt longer than Meebo and a recent press release suggested they have over 35 million users!!!


Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.