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Instant Messenger Archive
Rememeber the game of Risk? Today it’s like that game between Meebo and eBuddy. Meebo controls North America and eBuddy controls the rest of the World but overall the market is probably split 50/50. Meebo is releasing a couple stats today: 6.5 million unique users monthly at meebo.com and in November alone, 16.5 million unique users visited meebo widgets distributed across the Web by partners and users. The latter number is a bit of a stretch as it refers to widget load, not actual touching of said widget.
Meebo is also announcing support for Facebook applications via their meebo rooms, Partner Edition. Meebo notes that the following applications have already launched meebo rooms, Partner Edition: BuddyMedia, (fluff)Friends, RockYou, Slide, The Broth and WaterCooler, Inc. RockYou, a leading applications and widgets provider, launched 12 meebo rooms today for the highly-popular Facebook application Horoscopes – a different meebo room for each sign of the Zodiac. Next year the Partner Edition will begin to offer a rev share.
The other features of the Partner Edition they sent over include:
- Brand customization and Flash skinning. Partner Edition gives brands full control of the look and feel of their meebo rooms to create a seamless user and design experience between your brand and meebo technology.
- Integration with Facebook’s existing registration system. Facebook Edition authenticates logged user sessions and lets users take their registered names and user photos into the room with them, without requiring a meebo account.
- Automated capacity spillover. Designed for highly-trafficked application and canvas pages, new rooms spawn automatically when capacity is reached.
- Advertising tracking. Partners can seamlessly embed and track advertising in a room’s media queue to monetize traffic inside meebo rooms.
- Traffic and data reporting. Facebook Edition offers enhanced traffic and data reporting capability to measure campaign effectiveness and results.
Update: It appears there are two sites, a .com and a .org – the .org talks about compiling. Since my post, I see the site admin added a huge message about going to the .com site to download compiled versions for Win/Mac/Linux. Great to see this correction so others don’t make the same mistake I did.
News out of Mashable-land is the pre-alpha 0.1 release of a new IM aggregator client named Instantbird. It ties into the XUL language which is compatible with Firefox and Thunderbird for easy extension creation. You have to compile this application after the download which makes it super-sexy to those early adopters. Wouldn’t it make sense to offer a pre-compiled Win/Mac version? Instantbird currently connects with the following networks:
- Google Talk
And something to ponder: Since we know that none of these IM aggregators can access Skype, what about if Skype was to allow access to other networks inside their client. That might be a revenue-generation idea as well!
Today’s hot social news is the announcement of Skype partnering with MySpace to integrate Skype into the MySpace IM client and into the site itself. Owen from Valleywag sums it up well, "The bottom line: Now you can call your MySpace friends right from the "add me" page!" I really don’t see the value here and am betting most users will turn off the call function after the first few "perv" calls.
What about the business model? That’s easy too — people who use a free service such as MySpace are going to buy premium services from Skype to integrate into their MySpace profiles and IM. Sure, they will use the free calling, but I can’t actually imagine many takers on the paid services. This contradicts what Amit Kapur, vice president of business development at MySpace said today, "If we can engage the user base in the right way and increase usage and create the right sort of premium experience that people want to participate in, as well as monetize around the free environment through advertising, it can be a viable business partnership".
Caroline at Webware has some interesting thoughts on the deal, "Only 25 million out of MySpace’s 110 million active users have downloaded the MySpaceIM client. And neither company is at the top of its game. MySpace still leads the social-networking field in membership and traffic, but has lost its place in the spotlight to fast-growing rival Facebook. And Skype hasn’t exactly turned out to be a real winner for eBay, with some critics saying that the two are mismatched.".
Om Malik notes, "The new client will give a big boost to both communities and is a net positive for both Skype and MySpace."
I guess we will wait and see once the service launches in November — will it be a long-lasting relationship or a one-night stand? What are your thoughts? Will you enable this option on MySpace?
Helsinki-based Jaiku is announcing this morning the launch of an instant messaging client. Jaiku is similar to Twitter in that they are both "CMPs", that is Conversational Microblogging Platforms. The new IM client works with Jabber-based tools such as Gtalk.
Conversational microblogging is certainly heating up. Twitter is working with MTV, Jaiku is innovating with feeds from friends, Pownce is, well, powncing, and Yappd is working with images as their form of differentiation.
Jaiku claims they are "the leading conversational microblogging platform that enables users to post thoughts and ideas from web and mobile applications, and comment on posts of business associates, friends, and family. The free service offers the use of personality icons, the ability to share your lifestream (webfeeds from Flickr, Del.icio.us, Google, Last FM and blogs), and connectivity 24/7 from mobile and handheld devices."
I don't understand why they request a 3am Eastern embargo when the site is down!
Meebo and eBuddy are always one-upping each other. eBuddy launched iPhone support a month ago, and tonight Meebo is announcing their iPhone client. Seth Sternberg, founder and CEO of meebo says, "Safari on the iPhone has enabled a new level of mobile innovation – it's the most advanced web browser ever on a portable device. Our application for the iPhone now provides a seamless experience between your computer's browser and your phone's browser. meebo truly is instant messaging everywhere!"
The featureset includes:
- Access all of your IM accounts through a single login and in a single buddy list
- Your chat history and preferences stay with you from any web browser, mobile or desktop
- No software is required – meebo updates without annoying downloads
It makes sense for early adopter Web apps to make iPhone versions as quickly as possible as the majority of iPhone users would be considered early adopters. I don't have an iPhone so if you try the meebo for the iPhone, please report back with your review.
Meebo’s unique audience increased 354 percent, from 434,000 in August 2006 when it first fell above reporting cutoff to 2.0 million in June 2007 (see Table 1). Google Talk also saw triple digit growth in this time period, increasing 149 percent, from 904,000 to 2.3 million unique visitors.
“Now that instant messaging has become an established form of communication, providers are seeking to distinguish themselves with expanded access and additional functionalities. These recent trends in traffic indicate that users are excited about seeing where the technology is going next,” said Jason Lee, media analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.
Oddly missing from the report is eBuddy. Companies such as Meebo and eBuddy are kickstarting the IM app market and bringing it to life. Both offer great services and have launched iPhone apps as well. Check out our previous Meebo and eBuddy coverage.
FYI, just a quick note that I received from the Meebo team that you can use Meebo (CN coverage) on the iPhone. They call it a "pre-alpha" so some functionality may not work but give it a try and post your experiences in the comments. I have an email reply back to them for more details and will post if I get some more information. I have also pinged JJ at eBuddy to see what their iPhone plans are.
It's no shock that app developers are working fast and furious to get their apps working on the iPhone. We posted about iZoho yesterday, now Meebo, who is next?