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Amsterdam-based chat service eBuddy has announced a new alpha-version web messenger client today. The interface has been redesigned, a new way to set your profile images using your webcam, sound controls and major speed improvements.
Another new feature in the messenger client are themes. From the announcement, “With Themes you can change the look of the Messenger just the way you want it. In the mood for a pink background or rather prefer orange with funky dots? Change it with two simple clicks.”
You can try the new eBuddy web messenger client here. To login you either need an eBuddy ID or use any of the supported chat services (MSN, Yahoo IM, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, Facebook, MySpace and Hyves).
I am wondering when eBuddy will integrate Twitter into their client applications. I can only imagine the strength of a client that brings together all of the chat networks, Twitter and email. Once eBuddy (and the valley version Meebo) add Twitter to their software, it should help to provide a lift to both Twitter’s usage and reach.
Amsterdam-based eBuddy and valley-based TokBox have announced a new partnership this morning. The new partnership will bring the video chat service TokBox offers to the users of online instant messaging service eBuddy. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
eBuddy CEO Jan-Joost Rueb noted that video chat was the most requested feature from their users. Rueb also shared that they have over 18 million monthly unique users.
The video chat works across several IM networks including AIM, MSN, Gchat, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Chat. As you can see below, eBuddy has added the video chat icon to the chat window. Users click the video chat icon and instantly begin sharing video with their chat buddies. No software is required to use the video chat feature.
Back in September we broke the news about eBuddy adding Facebook chat to their mobile application and that they had 7 million mobile app downloads to-date. Today eBuddy has announced that they have hit the 10 million mobile app downloads mark.
Matt Marshall has a good overview of where eBuddy is relative to the other players in the market. Matt notes, "eBuddy’s progress comes even as other young players stumble. Competitor Trutap, which also let people chat across different IM services, and another mobile service, EQO, have both stumbled recently. Trutap, of the UK, just let go almost 80 percent of its staff after its main venture backer, Tudor Ventures, withdrew its support and the company failed to raise another round of capital, and EQO also recently failed to raise funding, and has cut two-thirds of its staff."
eBuddy currently reports 3 million monthly mobile users. When I started CN two years ago, it seemed like eBuddy and Meebo were direct competitors. Today it seems they are both succeeding but taking different paths to their respective success. eBuddy has raised $11.5 million in venture capital to-date.
Editor’s note: eBuddy is a CN sponsor.
This morning I was using the mobile version of eBuddy and I noticed that Facebook Chat was listed on the menu. This was the first time I saw Facebook listed in the options. I spoke with eBuddy CEO Jan-Joost Rueb to confirm that the Facebook Chat listing was new. Basically he confirmed that Facebook Chat is in a soft-launch period and that they will publicly announce the launch in the coming weeks. Rueb also noted that J2ME and Ajax versions will be updated soon.
While I had Rueb on the line (he’s in Amsterdam) he shared that eBuddy mobile has been downloaded over 7 million times and is beating Google Maps in downloads (based on GetJar rankings). Once eBuddy publicly announces the Facebook Chat launch, this should help increase their total downloads and usage time even further.
Amsterdam-based chat service eBuddy is announcing this morning that they have hit the 1 billion mobile messages sent using their service each month. In fact, this month I am told that it’s 1.1 billion mobile messages. They have also shared that the eBuddy mobile client has been downloaded over 5 million times and 2 million unique users have sent the above 1.1 billion mobile messages.
eBuddy CEO Jan-Joost Rueb tells me that the mobile Web client has been used by 600,000 iPhone users and by over a million Sony PSP users to-date.
eBuddy is also announcing the launch of updated software for both their J2ME and mobile Internet browser clients. The J2ME client has been updated with a new interface and support for eBuddy ID which allows for a user to connect to multiple networks using one eBuddy account.
It’s interesting to watch eBuddy and Meebo take different paths over the last year and yet both are successful with thier product roadmaps. Check out all of our eBuddy coverage including our interview with Rueb.
Editor’s note: eBuddy is a current sponsor of CenterNetworks.
eBuddy has announced a Series B round of funding to the tune of €6.5 million Euros, bringing their total funding to €11.5 million. The round was led by Prime Technology Ventures (PTV).
While Meebo gets most of the press here in the U.S., eBuddy continues to dominate the worldwide market. eBuddy was listed as a top rising search term for Google worldwide in 2007. Here are some stats provided in the eBuddy funding release:
12 million monthly global visitors
1.5 million new network users added every month
1.2 million unique mobile users worldwide
1.3 billion+ advertising impressions per month
With data access on mobile devices starting to grow in popularity in the U.S., whichever company can figure out how to provide the best user experience along with the ability to monetize the chat will only strengthen their position. Both Meebo and eBuddy have iPhone versions of their chat application. I also wonder which one will tackle video first. Check out our interview with CEO Jan-Joost Rueb along with his tips for startups.
(editor’s note: eBuddy is a CN sponsor)