I first ran into meebo (not to be confused with social networking site Beebo) when my 6th form blocked access to the msn messenger protocol on the school network. Since leaving 6th form this has not been an issue and I adopted pidgin for IM as it allows multiple sign in’s and works fairly well. However pidgin is blocked at university (although the standard msn messenger client is not) so I decided to return to Meebo, the web based IM client and WOW!
Meebo now allows you to sign into multiple accounts from different services (gTalk, ICQ etc) aswell as providing almost identical functionality to the official msn messenger client including the ability to send / recieve files, group chat and fully functional webcam and audio chat THROUGH THE BROWSER, courtesy of Adobe Flash. If this isn’s a sign of a shift from client to web based applications I don’t know what is! So well done to the guys at Meebo, especially on recently shipping a firefox extension for the service. I dunno about you guys but I always have a firefox window open, so integrating IM into it seamlessly seems a great idea, you will also get small winamp style “toasties” alerting you of friends activity which is nice to see while browsing but does’t intrude.
This is one example of where a web based application just works. It blends into the browser well and doesn’t hog any system resources at all! On the down side I have noticed a few minor issues with the service but overall very impressed!