Meebo, the online chat app that lets you sign into all your IM programs with any browser, has spent the last few months upgrading their site and network, allowing other sites to add their app so that their users can chat with each other in real time. This has been on Facebook and Myspace for a while as well as other partner sites.
Before, if I logged into meebo on Facebook, I'd only be able to see friends online that were also part of that sites network. But on June 9th meebo rolled out new features that let me sign in on Facebook and also see who's online from my networks on MySpace, or any of their partner sites I'm signed up to. They just announced that they've added about 75 other sites to their partner list including PlayedOnline, and SparkPeople. Additional signed partners include AddictingGames, AreYouInterested.com, BasilMarket, Bleacher Report, CafeMom, CrispyGamer, Current TV, DailyStrength.org, dotblu, eBaum's World, FanPop, Flixster, GGL Global Gaming, ibeatyou, IGN.com, ImageChef, Internet Brands, JacketFlap, myYearbook, OperationSports, OutSpark, Paste Magazine, PerfSpot, Piczo, PlayFire, Sonico, StarPulse, Sugar Publishing and a slew of others.
This 'chat layer' added on top of a site or a handful of sites has been working out excellent for both users and site owners. The users can connect from anywhere and user retention and length of time on a site increases dramatically. In fact, sites running Meebo are seeing an average of over 20% of their US site visitors using the service on a monthly basis with each active user sending 50 IMs per day from the Meebo Bar.
Now here's another interesting addition to Meebo - if you look at your Meebo bar, you'll see a "Share Page" option that lets you share links, bits of content and other items with your friends across multiple networks, as well as Twitter and via email. This content sharing and communication across all your networks as well as email and IM is known as Community Sharing and it's all browser based so you don't need to have several chat clients open or be logged into all your networks.
With 50 million people sharing over 5 billion messages and 75 million links every month, Meebo is one of the Web's fastest growing social media companies. Plus with these new features and a multitude of large social networking and partner sites signed up, growth of the userbase should be exponential.
For a company to create a multiple IM chat app in such a crowded space, it would seem they would fade away into the clutter, but Meebo has broken into territory now where their name may become ubiquitous to online real time chat. "Meebo me" or "Meebo me the link" could soon be the new verb in real time chat, like "Google me" is to search.