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RealTime IT News

Rooms With a Digital Media View

What's an Instant Messaging experience without a chat room with friends? Better yet, what's a social networking experience without some video to watch together?

That's the idea behind the beta launch of meebo rooms from meebo.com, the site that helps Web sites add IM to any Web page.

Meebo, which counts two million registered users, said users subscribe to the rooms the same way they add buddies to their IM list. From there, you can pull-in media, such as video, music and pictures, from your favorite Web sites, such as YouTube, chat at the same time with buddies and embed these rooms into profiles.

It’s one more difference between the old media way of watching television, and the digital media/television experience. For example, Joost, the streaming media brainchild of Skype founders, just pocketed $45 million in venture money to help seed its streaming media offerings, which also allow subscribers to conduct live IM chats during their shared video viewings.

The meebo rooms are offering video content in conjunction with content providers such as blip.tv, CNET Networks, CollegeHumor, Flixster, Hearst Magazine Group’s Popular Mechanics, Jive Records, MTV Networks’ GameTrailers.com, and VIBE Magazine. In all, it's a mix of syndicated and synchronous conversations that combine group chat, media viewing and content distribution, the company said.

But buried in the fine print about meebo is perhaps its most significant news to date. The beta is trying out another cool idea: making money with advertising. You might say the true test of meebo is underway.