News broke a few days ago that Google hat acquired yet another company. The company this time was the popular web instant messaging service Meebo, and it quickly was announced that most of the services that Meebo was offering were being shut down as a consequence. While it is very likely that they may appear in Google+ in one way or the other, Meebo users for now are left without alternatives.
This article looks at some alternatives that are currently available on the Internet, and while they may not replicate the Meebo service 100%, they may support the features that you may require. I have only included services in the list that still seem to be actively maintained.
This services let you connect to instant messaging services and protocols in your Internet browser. Many offer mobile apps and other means of connection as well.
Imo.im is a web based service that lets you sign in to several popular messaging services that include heavyweights such as MSN, Skype, Facebook, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk and VKontakte. You can use your service credentials to sign in on the Imo.im website to chat with your contacts right on the site. Imo.im furthermore makes available mobile apps for all major operating systems including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Nokia devices.
The operators of the service furthermore have added features to their service, for instance voice message support, a discovery network for new people and contacts, as well as options to manage multiple networks simultaneously.
eBuddy lets you sign in to services such as MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk or Facebook on their website. Just use the sign-in form on the frontpage to sign in to your messenger of choice. Once logged in, you can chat with your instant messenger contacts as if you would be using a software to do so.
Mobile apps for iPhone, Android and classic phones is available as well if you want mobile access as well.
Trillian is offered as a web app, desktop applications and for mobile devices. It supports a wide variety of services but is not the most intuitive program to navigate, especially not on the web. A pro version is available that Trillian users can upgrade their accounts to. Pro users get options to store their chats online and benefit from an ad free environment for $12 a year.
Programs for the desktop that allow you to connect to different instant messaging networks.
Adium (Mac) is a free instant messaging client for Mac OS X that supports a wide variety of services. Besides the usual, it is also supporting IRC, Twitter, Apple MobileMe, Novel Groupwise and other lesser known services.
Digsby (Windows) is a popular client for the Microsoft Windows operating system that supports instant messaging, social networking and email accounts. It packs a lot of features, including syncing between different computer systems, personalization options, the option to rename contacts or sending SMS messages to friends right from withing the program interface.
Empathy (Linux), a multi-protocol application supporting Google Talk, MSN, IRC, Salut, AIM, Facebook, Yahoo and others. Features include file transfer support, voice and video call options, conversation logging and private / group chat capabilities.
Instantbird (Windows, Mac, Linux) by Mozilla is available for all major operating systems and more than a dozen different languages. One of the interesting features of this multi-network instant messenger is its support for add-ons, which can be compared to add-ons in the Firefox browser or the Thunderbird email client.
Miranda (Windows) supports a variety of protocols and ships with its own add-on engine as well to improve the functionality of the client further.
Pidgin (Windows, Mac, Linux) supports all major protocols and chat networks, including MSN, AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger and IRC. It supports plugins which can add support for additional services or protocols to the instant messaging client plus improvements in security or privacy, notifications, the interface, and various other elements of the client.
If you are looking for a Meebo alternative you have lots of choice, from web based services such as Imo.im to desktop-based applications like Pidgin. The majority of services support the same protocols with some, like Pidgin, supporting a wider variety of protocols thanks to plugin support.
Are you using an instant messenger currently? If so, which program or service are you making use of for that purpose?
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