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Meebo, Pownce Open Up To Developers

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Meebo and Pownce, two collaborative social networking plays, published their APIs this week, opening the doors to applications by outside developers—and hopefully to more users and revenue.

Meebo and Pownce follow Facebook, which unveiled its API last week. MySpace and Skype both have announced upcoming API releases as well this fall, as they look for ways to continue to grow their user base and generate new revenue streams.

Meebo launched in 2005 with backing from Sequoia Capital.

“When we talked to Sequoia,” said Meebo CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg, “we said, if Google is a search site, and YouTube is a video site, and MySpace is where you leave messages for people, we want to be the site where people interact live.”

Meebo’s API is designed around adding collaborative applications on top of its instant messaging architecture, based on the open-source Jabber protocol. Initially launched as a Web-based method of accessing the major IM networks, Meebo added its own Jabber-based IM network to its browser-based client.

The Meebo Platform extends the Jabber protocol to allow for other types of data to be passed across the network by Meebo sessions, either within an AJAX browser or another client application that uses the API.

“When we first launched Meebo, we figured we didn’t know what the users wanted, so we set it up to listen to users. One of the top requested features was voice and video chat,” Sternberg said. “Now, through Platform [the Meebo API], we have four new apps that provide that.”

Among the applications already developed is one from UStream that allows Meebo users to broadcast a video stream to friends, a video and voice calling application from InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.

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