A UK developer who goes by “Tones” has created a Flock-specific extension that puts Meebo, and therefore Yahoo, AIM, Gtalk and MSN IM, directly into a sidebar in the Flock browser (the extension also works for Firefox). Since Flock and Meebo are two startups I use, this looked interesting.
I’ve downloaded the extension and tried it out. It works as promised, although it requires constant re-sizing of the IM windows to make it work right. Until the kinks are worked out (possibly via Meebo’s support of the project, which I encourage), I don’t recommend using it.
But I do support the idea behind this entirely. IM should (optionally) be pulled right into the browser, where most of the action on a computer today occurs anyway. There should be no need to use a separate set of clients on the desktop for IM, or even go to Meebo’s website. Just as Flock has built a photo uploader directly into the browser (for flickr and photobucket), they should integrate IM functionality directly into it as well.
More TechCrunch posts on Flock are here and Meebo are here.