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michaelbuckbee 685 days ago | link | parent

To me this makes sense as Meebo has really transformed themselves from a "chat" company to an "advertising toolbar" company.

They (for better or worse) absolutely dominate the annoying popup toolbar at the bottom of a website market.

Ex: http://www.slate.com



danudey 685 days ago | link

I grabbed the Meebo chat app for iOS the day it came out, and it was a great, free alternative to existing options like IM+ and Beejive. It had a few minor bugs though, like tapping 'send' was actually tapping Return, so if your cursor was in the middle of a line it would send a message which was broken in half where your cursor was.

They fixed it after a few months, but you could very obviously see that what was happening was it was inserting the newline, and then they were removing it, and then the message was getting sent. It was an obvious hack and it made me feel like they really didn't understand how to make a good iOS app, and didn't care enough to do it properly.

Meanwhile, they started adding other 'features'. They added the ability to 'check in' to a website, like foursquare for web pages. Except it only worked inside of the built-in browser in Meebo, which meant it only worked for links that your friends sent you via IM while you were on your phone. How much time did they spend implementing a feature that I can't imagine anyone ever using instead of adding actual functionality to their app (or fixing the constant crashes I got all the time)?

That was the point where I basically wrote Meebo off. Sure, they probably couldn't make money providing a free chat service, but they could have branched out in other areas, rather than the idiotic-seeming stuff they've been working on lately.

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AznHisoka 685 days ago | link

That toolbar is godawful, and I have no idea how they managed to sign up so many companies to display it. I mean.. it's not like they had access to all these advertisers since they were primarily a chat company. It's something that can be duplicated by any one of us. What gives?

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jpark 684 days ago | link

It's the result of an incredible bd and ad sales team. If you look at the senior team, esp in sales, it's a lot of very senior CNET veterans who took along most of their experience and contacts from CNET to Meebo.

This is not something duplicated easily.

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veemjeem 684 days ago | link

Yes, but it probably didn't need most of the original functionality of meebo either. It was essentially a chat bar for webpages...

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rhizome 685 days ago | link

That is a story I've been waiting to read for some time now. AFAIK, it doesn't exist yet.

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bpm140 684 days ago | link

Most of their initial toolbar customers came from the Time Warner strategic investment. Publishers are so hungry for revenue, they tend to flock to guaranteed revenue, which Meebo was likely using to get additional sites on board. I'm guessing that we'll see the end of those toolbars within six months, as Google will have no interest in selling that ad format. They're already rumored to be laying off all te salespeople.

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JulianMorrison 685 days ago | link

Adblock meebocdn.com and they go away.

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joejohnson 685 days ago | link

I'm not sure if I'm adding meebocdn.com to my blacklist correctly. But I was able to block Slate's toolbar through the AdBlock interface...

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bballdeo 684 days ago | link

I believe using the ghostery extension automatically blocks it as well.

edit for links:

link for Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mlomiejdfkolichcfl...?

link for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ghostery/

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Tomis02 684 days ago | link

You forgot the link for Opera: https://addons.opera.com/en-gb/extensions/details/ghostery/

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ticks 685 days ago | link

That toolbar has improved a lot since I last saw it, it used to make the websites all jerky and difficult to browse.

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duaneb 685 days ago | link

I have never seen that before - maybe my brain just tunes it out.

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danudey 685 days ago | link

Adblock usually blocks it, for what that's worth.

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gulbrandr 684 days ago | link

Ghostery blocks it too.

Source: http://www.ghostery.com/apps/meebo_bar

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MaysonL 685 days ago | link

Very strange: the bar only shows up for me in Chrome, no trace of it in Safari (whether or not AdBlocker is enabled, whether or not I'm logged into Slate).

Ahh! Long enough ago that I totally forgot about it, I installed the Block Meebpo Toolbar userscript in NinjaKit

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joelhaasnoot 685 days ago | link

There was a couple of steps in between I think - didn't they also do some sort of news/feed syndication or "following"? Till Gmail and Google Talk became popular, Meebo was my MSN replacement of choice.

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citricsquid 685 days ago | link

Still exists: https://www.meebo.com/messenger

Full timeline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meebo#Timeline

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jholman 685 days ago | link

What the heck is wrong with ICQ as an "MSN replacement"? If the new thing (MSN) sucks, and the old thing (ICQ) still works, why go to a NEWER thing?

Now, I have no trouble understanding why you'd eventually go to gChat; it's clearly superior.

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joelhaasnoot 684 days ago | link

I meant "MSN client replacement" - not having to install software and having chat logs everywhere was an advantage at the time.

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adrianwaj 684 days ago | link

Does the toolbar even allow chatting with site staff like Olark? (seemingly no) whilst a useful thing to do right now: Olark is also expensive.

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mooreds 684 days ago | link

17 bucks a month is expensive? I find olark to be inexpensive and effective. No I am not an employee, just a happy customer.

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adrianwaj 684 days ago | link

$44 per month for more than 1 operator, which you'll need unless you sleep next to your PC.

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