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Meebo's 'Community IM' announces new partners

First announced in July, the yet-to-launch program will chart Meebo's reach at over 70 million users, CEO Seth Sternberg says.

Web-based chat and IM company Meebo has announced a few updates to its "Community IM" chat project, which it announced this summer as a means to power live chat features on partner sites. More specifically, there are more partners on board to add to the original eight.

According to CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg, putting Meebo on partner sites will mean that it has a reach of more than 70 million people worldwide. Eventually, there will be ads placed on the chat app, and revenue will be split between Meebo and the partner in question.

As was the plan this summer, movie site Flixster will be the first to roll out Community IM support. Meebo CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg said that this will be a snail-paced launch. "It's going to do a small rollout over time with a bunch of different partners, mostly because of scaling concerns," he explained. "We wouldn't want to roll it out to everyone all at once and then have the system collapse."

Sternberg said that the company has been smart with its expansion, given the fact that live chat takes a lot of hardware power, and high server costs have been cited as one of the factors that could doom a hyped start-up. "Meebo serves like 35 to 40 million unique (visits) a month right now, on what I think is 150 or less servers. For the number of uniques that we have, our server count is very, very low," he explained. "The server count is certainly going to grow with the Community IM...obviously that's going to put one heck of a strain on the back-end system, but that said, we're being very, very careful."

The current roster of Community IM partners, an array of blog sites, small social networks, and gaming sites, includes: AddictingCames, Bleacher Report, DanceJam, Dhingana, Fanpop, Flixster, GlobalGrind, IBeatYou, MyYearbook, OrangeShark, Piczo, PerfSpot, SparkArt, Sugar Inc., Tagged, UGame.net, Yaari, Zinch, and Zorpia.

Meebo debuted an ad network early this year and opened up the API for its "Meebo Rooms" group chat app.