Jabber Scores Licensing Deal with iWon

Popular portal iWon, looking to increase its stickiness by incorporating instant messaging, Tuesday licensed Jabber.com Inc.’s open source technology.

iWon, the fifth most trafficked site on the Internet according to Nielsen/NetRatings’ Nov. 2000 survey, will utilize Jabber Instant Messaging server technology, professional services, support and maintenance to extend instant messaging capabilities and notification services to its users. iWon daily gives away cash prizes to users who generate entries to the portal’s sweepstakes by using its services.

“The instant messaging application will help us maintain our position as one of the stickiest sites on the Internet,” said Jonas Steinman, founder and co-chief executive officer of iWon. “Instant messaging represents more than just a consumer chat service, it’s a way for iWon to extend its brand to a user’s desktop and to deliver timely pop-up notifications that help bring our loyal users back even more frequently. In partnership with Jabber.com, our goal is to promote and extend this new service in unique and value-adding ways. We are, therefore, pleased to announce that we will be awarding iWon sweepstakes entries and “cash points” rewards for the download and installation of this new service.”

The deal, which marks Jabber.com’s first major customer, could add a new wrinkle to the Instant Messenger Wars which have been playing out between giants like AOL MSN and Yahoo and smaller competitors like Odigo. Jabber, a subsidiary of Webb Interactive Services Inc., offers an open source IM platform built on XML technology and a distributed client/server architecture, giving customers complete control over their IM services, applications and branding. In theory, at least, Jabber’s licensing strategy could lead to a host of new combatants in the IM field as sites engage private-label branded IM services to boost stickiness and create communities among their users.

“We’re pleased to introduce iWon as one of our first major customers within the service provider market,” said Andre Durand, founder of Jabber.com. “iWon is unique in its focus to build loyalty through the combination of information and entertainment, a simple but extremely effective concept. Portals such as iWon afford Jabber.com the ability to demonstrate scalability and to validate our commercial instant messaging solutions and products with a huge existing installed base.”

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