Meebo To Launch Syndicated IM Service
"The service allows users to log into all of their networks at the same time," Meebo chief revenue officer Carter Brokaw said at an industry summit on Wednesday.
Brokaw detailed the "Community IM" chat project, including imminent plans to place ads on the chat applications, the revenue from which will be split between Meebo and its partners.
Putting Meebo on partner sites will mean that it has a reach of more than 70 million people worldwide, according to Brokaw. And while Meebo has held talks with industry heavyweights like MySpace and Facebook, he said the network could be seen as an alternative for marketers.
Brokaw, however, stopped short of calling Facebook and MySpace competitors. "We're happy to be the Intel Inside here, more on the backend," he said.
Earlier this year, Meebo offered a glimpse of the forthcoming ad programs, which are built around the premise of engagement and sharing, and are intended to help monetize usership.
Through Meebo's Community IM offering, registered users on the sites will automatically gain access to Meebo's one-to-one IM service and buddy lists within the online communities when they log in. People can also connect with members of participating sites and the multiple IM services on Meebo.com.
Other Community IM partners include AddictingGames, Bleacher Report, DanceJam, Dhingana, Fanpop, GlobalGrind, IBeatYou, MyYearbook, OrangeShark, Piczo, PerfSpot, SparkArt, UGame.net, Yaari, Zinch and Zorpia.
The core of Meebo's ad offerings remains its MediaBar, a standard leaderboard appearing at the bottom of a user's screen that expands to a 900 x 400 unit to deliver video, games, applications, news and other types of interactive content. Ad deals with Meebo begin at $50,000, Brokaw said.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company says it has more than 40 million people sharing over 5 billion messages and 75 million links each month.
Just in the last several months, Meebo has announced that a string of partnerships will top media brands. Of particular note, the company struck a major deal with Universal Music Group to syndicate ad-supported videos from artists including Kanye West, Ludacris and the Killers. As part of the agreement, Universal is embedding Meebo Rooms applications, which allow users to chat and share media on artists' official Web pages to encourage social interaction among fans.
Also last month, Meebo partnered with Hearst Magazines Digital Media, a unit of Hearst Magazines--enabling visitors to Hearst Magazines Web sites to use Meebo instant messaging and chat.
In addition, in October, Comedy Central has tapped Meebo to host live user commentary on Indecision2008.com on Election Day. "The Daily Show"-connected political satire site integrated Meebo Rooms and embedded chat rooms for Election Day.
Meebo was rumored earlier this year to have hired investment bank Montgomery & Co. to represent them in a new fund-raising round, which would have valued the company at $250 million.