With all the talk about Meebo adding support for Facebook chat yesterday, I took notice of a message in our tips inbox today about another instant messaging aggregator service that I’d never heard of before adding support for Skype chat. IMO.IM is its name, it’s still in alpha stage (whatever that means), and it’s actually pretty neat.
First, the good. IMO.IM is simple, web-based service that doesn’t require you to register, comes with a desktop version for Windows and supports multiple languages. It can handle text, voice and video conversations on the most important instant messaging services including Windows Live Messenger / MSN, AIM / ICQ, MySpace, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber, Gtalk as well as – and correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is a first – Skype. I tried using the service on my iPhone (no app, just browse to the website) and it worked seamlessly.
Update: Nimbuzz and fring also supports Skype chat on mobile devices.
The bad? No Mac or Linux desktop application and no Facebook chat (yet), but that’s about the only things we could come up with for an otherwise awesome little product.
According to this blog post, IMO.IM has some other great stuff in the pipeline, including text to speech and vice versa functionality in all languages, face and object recognition, smart advertising, 3D emoticons and avatars, offline access, and more. Consider me subscribed to that blog to learn when those features become available.
Also worth noting is that IMO.IM was co-founded by Georges Harik, one of the first 10 employees at Google and manager of several of its early products. He’s also an active angel investor; he invested in our competitor Venturebeat so he’s lucky to get written up here at all (please note the sarcasm), and a handful of other internet startups which you can check out in his Crunchbase profile. Also, FriendFeed co-founders and also ex-Googlers Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Singh are listed as advisors to IMO.IM.
Surprised that they haven’t enjoyed more buzz so far.