Meebo allows you to connect and chat with friends across multiple instant messaging networks.
This free web application works in a similar way as Yahoo! Messenger or Windows Live Messenger. The differences are that Meebo requires no download, and you can chat to buddies across different IM and social media networks from the same interface.
Import your contacts
Meebo supports lots of the major IM clients and top social networks, including Facebook, Windows Live, Yahoo!, AIM and Google Talk. It also integrates with lesser-known services, such as Yonja, Dance Trippin, Ultimate Guitar and FooPets. The most notable omission is Skype, which is not supported by Meebo.
Using Meebo's accounts console, you can add all your network accounts very easily, enabling or disabling them individually if you want. All of your online and offline contacts appear in the tidy Buddy List console. Here you can manage all of your contacts, search for buddies and start group chats. The Buddy List can even be popped out, so it pulls away from the browser and can be used like a normal desktop app.
Chatting with Meebo
Double-clicking on a contact in the Meebo Buddy List will launch a chat window, from where you can start IM-ing your buddy. Chat options include changing the text font, size and color and choosing from a range of smilies (albeit a limited range).
There are plenty of cool chat features in Meebo. You can make audio and video calls, send files and play games, all via the chat window. The app also keeps a record of your chat history and allows you to view user profiles.
Meebo also has a 'Rooms' feature which allows you to set up private chat rooms and invite different contacts to join. These rooms are designed to offer an easy way for you and your buddies to watch online video and looking photos together. Paste in a URL from a site like YouTube, Google Video or Flickr, and you'll all be able to enjoy the content at the same time, in Meebo's integrated player. Unfortunately, this feature failed to work at all during our tests.
What else you can do
Your Meebo experience can be customized via the Preferences menu. Here you can adjust your IM settings, and also personalize the Meebo interface from choosing from a range of themed wallpapers.
Besides the main web app itself, Meebo has plenty of other tools to help you keep in touch with your friends. For instance, there's a mobile app for Android and iPhone devices, a Firefox extension that displays instant notifications, and a desktop-based notifier, too.
Meebo is a fun and practical tool that helps you keep in touch with all of your online friends from the same place.