Mabber Me03 Feb 2006
This week my employer* launched the beta of mabber, a web- and mobile-based instant messaging service. Big deal, you might think. There are already established IM services with web-based clients, and there are already universal web-based clients like meebo.
But mabber is a big deal. It's do-it-all-in-one-place and do-it-anywhere instant messaging. Most reviews have concentrated on the web-client, but that's not where the magic is going to be. (Quite frankly, I find the web-client very distracting, and when working I use a traditional client to connect to mabber. That works, too.) The big deal is going to be the mobile client. Mabber is going to be quicker, easier, and more interactive than SMS. And cheaper, too, even after we start charging for mobile access and even if you are on pay-per-slurp data plan.
And since it runs on the XMPP/Jabber protocol, it can use existing interfaces to ICQ, MSN, AIM and Yahoo!, and of course other Jabber services like Google Talk.
Disclaimer: I haven't tried the mobile client yet (it won't load on my Blackberry). So I don't know if anything I'm saying about it is true. The key is going to be how easy it is. If it's a pain to install and contacts have to be added manually, it's not going to work. If it is truly easier to use than SMS, we'll have a killer app.
In the tradition of Google mabber is an invitation-only beta, but we're pretty loose with invitations. I'm only peripherally involved with the project, since it runs out of our second (count them, two!) data center in Düsseldorf; my involvement is mainly 'keep everything else running so we can concentrate on mabber'. Of course there's a mabber blog. And the whole service is run in both German and English, our first project that goes beyond German-speaking countries.
Oh, you can mabber me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Actually, mabber bears the imprint 'interdings GmbH' rather than nu2m. I'm sure there's some legal / corporate / tax reason for that. I do know that Nico was pleased as punch to land the domain interdings.de.
I wasn't clear enough. If you'd like an invitation, you don't have to beg. Just send a mail to info -at- mabber -dot- com. You no longer need an invitation. As of 12 April registration for mabber is open to all.