Meebo, Online Instant Messenger, ReviewBy Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I have been using Meebo, an AJAX based online instant messenger and website communicator, for quite sometime. This is a review of Meebo, what works and what doesn’t.
What’s good about Meebo?
Convenience - Meebo is a quick and simple way to connect to multiple Instant Messaging services from a single browser window. It supports AOL, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, GTalk, MSN & its own MeeboMe service. I find it more convenient to use than Trillian.
MeeboMe - MeeboMe provides a simple way to chat with people on your site. I am using it on this site. You can chat with me anytime from my website when I am logged in Meebo. You will find the tool in my sidebar (scroll down). It also provides a simple way to view how many users are on your site at any time. You can also try to initiate a conversation with your site visitors, provided they look at the chat tool.
Multi-language support - Meebo is supported in several languages.
What Meebo needs to improve?
Speed - Often during the day (US Pacific Standard Time), I find Meebo to be rather slow. For example now I am waiting for at least 3-4 minutes for my authentication to be completed. It could be that the AJAX request is simply failing and it is waiting indefinitely. Re-clicking on the sign-on / login button doesn’t help. The only way to login in such cases is to refresh the page and then type the password again.
Passwords are not remembered in browser - This happens because Meebo uses AJAX to login instead of the standard form submission using POST. So your browser doesn’t realize that you are supplying your credentials (login & password) that it should give you an option to remember. This is a major irritant for me as I normally let my browser to remember the passwords for me.
Slows down Firefox to a crawl - Meebo significantly slows down Firefox as well as Internet Explorer. After sometime (with only Meebo running) everything slows down. Firefox consumes too much CPU and memory. This is one reason why I don’t remain logged in Meebo all the time.
IRC - Meebo doesn’t appear to support IRC. I think it will be a very good addition to Meebo.
In conclusion I think Meebo is moving in the right direction. However its services need to be improved upon as described above. I would also like to see a intranet version for corporations.
What I am not so sure is the revenue model of Meebo. I am assuming they will display advertisement in Meebo page or provide bots which allows you to purchase products and services.