Home Meebo and the Mainstreaming of Web IM

Meebo and the Mainstreaming of Web IM

Venture Beat is reporting that cross-platform web Instant Messaging service Meebo is raising a substantial amount more money at a valuation of more than $200 million. Consensus among the community of VB readers seems to be that such a valuation is insane. Looking at the details about Meebo indicates otherwise, however. Meebo is a simple, solid service that serves a clear need and has amassed large user numbers.

Relative to, for example, the purchase prices of YouTube or Beebo – a $200m valuation for Meebo seems to acknowledge the monetization challenges at hand. Web IM certainly has the potential to gain far more users than a User Generated video site or any particular social network.

Mainstream Users

We talked to Meebo several months ago about the company’s business. Venture Beat writes that the company currently reports 29 million unique users each month. Based on what Meebo told us, those users aren’t interested in the higher-tech innovations that many pundits and readers are saying would deliver more substantive value to the service. The vast majority of users login in to a single IM account and IM with their existing friends on that platform. They don’t use it to communicate with people on multiple IM services. They just want to IM from school or work without installing the desktop IM client they use at home.

Add in Meebo chat functionality on a swath of new sites looking to offer video, voice and other functionality available through the new Meebo developers’ platform and you’ve got a recipe for rapid proliferation.

Instant is Good

People love IM, synchronous communication and the smooth flow of information IM-style are why we’ve written here that XMPP (Jabber) could be key to the next generation of web applications. Meebo isn’t even alone in rocking the web IM space – Amsterdam’s eBuddy is racking up the millions of users and venture capital as well.

Relative Valuations

Early Meebo money came from Sequoia Capital, funders of YouTube and Google. Did YouTube have some drastically innovative technology? No. Could a large company have spent a few million building a great MySpace-clone from scratch? Of course. That’s not what it’s about, though, in some cases. The ability to get in early on a basic social activity, whether it be online video, social networking or web IM, and then ramp up user numbers – is far easier said than done.

Is Meebo worth upwards of $200 million? It may very well be.

Give it a try, discuss amongst yourselves and witness the handiness of Meebo’s embedded “rooms” feature.
.mcrmeebo { display: block; background:url(“http://widget.meebo.com/r.gif”) no-repeat top right; } .mcrmeebo:hover { background:url(“http://widget.meebo.com/ro.gif”) no-repeat top right; }

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.