Meebo’s Community IM, which effectively offers websites a Facebook Chat-like messaging platform “in a box”, looks like it’s finally ready for the masses. The product was first unveiled last July, and has announced partnerships with over a dozen sites including Sugar Publishing, AddictingGames, and myYearbook. But until now it has been rolled out slowly, and is currently live on only three sites: Flixster, Wadja, and Zorpia. While some of the wait can be attributed to the partner sites themselves, Meebo has also been taking its time to ensure that its service could handle the traffic load.
Now it sounds like Meebo is ready to swing into full gear. Today the product went live on Piczo, a social site with a large following among teenagers. And beginning next month, the company will roll out on 5-6 more partner sites and plans to continue that pace for the following months (Meebo won’t comment on which sites will be launching, but we can expect the largest ones to drag their feet the longest).
But even with the limited rollout, the three partner sites that had deployed Community IM before today have seen impressive results: Meebo reported 2.5 million unique users on Community IM in December, and expects to beat that figure in January. That number still pales in comparison to the 45 million users seen across Meebo’s entire network, but if the site sees similar turnout from each of its new partners it could double or triple within the month. In light of the platform’s success, Meebo is also planning to roll out advertising sooner than expected (Community IM is currently ad-free).