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Meebo lets users log in to all their IM accounts simultaneously

Nov 22, 20052 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Why Meebo is worth a look

Meebo is a small start-up company that has created an interesting instant messaging platform, which it launched on Sept. 14. Meebo allows users to log in to their AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and Google Talk/Jabber accounts simultaneously through a Web browser. Once logged in, a user has access to their contacts from all of these services in a single contact list with each contact identified by the appropriate symbol from the service he or she is using. There are no downloads required – everything is contained within the browser – and the service is provided at no charge.

The Meebo interface is relatively spartan, with just a contact list, an IM discussion window and a blog window available on-screen in the default setup. The functionality of the system is very smooth and is quite similar to what you’d experience using the stand-alone clients for each of these services, with the exception that you can communicate with all of your IM contacts from a single interface.

Thus far, Meebo has been quite popular: as of Nov. 9, Meebo had reached 145,000 logins per day and was experiencing week-to-week growth in logins of 47.5% in its first eight weeks of operation.

Although Meebo plans to push new features and functions in the product, I see one of the primary uses of Meebo as solving some of the problems that IT experiences with the use of consumer IM in the workplace. Because more than 80% of organizations in North America have consumer IM clients installed in their networks, this creates huge security risks, particularly because of the rapid growth in IM-borne threats during 2005. With Meebo, IT could block consumer IM clients from operating on the network while still allowing users of consumer IM to use a capability to which they have become accustomed. The use of Meebo certainly would not prevent all IM-related threats from penetrating corporate defenses, but because everything is contained within the browser and no downloads are required, IM threat prevention would likely be easier.

For a variety of reasons, Meebo is certainly worth a look.