Home Userplane Releases Userlist – IM for Websites a Trend to Watch

Userplane Releases Userlist – IM for Websites a Trend to Watch

Disclosure: Userplane is a sponsor of Read/WriteWeb

the provider of community web apps that was acquired by AOL in August last year, is today
releasing Userplane Userlist – a Flash-based instant messaging app that you can integrate
into web sites. Basically Userlist enables users on a site to view other users’ online
status and initiate IM conversations. It’s aimed at online communities and corporate
websites, but I can also see a use for this type of functionality in social networks and
perhaps blogs (more on that in a minute). Userlist is implemented by inserting a script
into a web site, which gets the app up and running. While currently it only allows single
user chat, future developments include multi-user chat integration, multi-user games, and
saved buddies. Also coming soon is an advertising revenue-sharing program.

There are other products on
the market implementing IM/chat into websites too. However it should be noted that most
of the initial entrants into this market, like Gabbly
and 3bubbles, did not pan out. Library Clips profiled
a number of them last year – and to my knowledge none have been successful. It’s
fair to say then that real-time chat in web sites has probably not reached its potential
yet. Another company in this space to watch is Tangler – which is building a tool for enabling
real-time discussions anywhere on the web. Tangler is currently in private beta and
they’re looking for more beta testers
if you’re interested.


Despite the lack of success so far, I think real-time chat in websites is a trend
we’ll see more of during 2007 and beyond. While IM services like AIM and Yahoo Messenger
dominate the chat market, there is room for turn-key chat solutions like Userplane or
Tangler for web sites and online communities. They will get good take-up from sites where
real-time communication is important (an online call center for example) or where the
community is passionate enough about its core topic that members want to chat about it in
real time.

What other products do you recommend for implementing IM into web sites? And do you
think it’s something more and more sites will look to do?

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