Meebo has become an extremely popular online instant messenger, and with a status as prestigious as theirs comes clones. With Meebo you can communicate with friends and family from anywhere you have an Internet connection and a browser. And if you want to start your own similar service go checkout the open source version called Soashable (project page).

If Meebo is so great why would anyone want to use knockoff? Since Soashable is open source anyone can take their code and modify it so that it fits in well with their own site. For example, Facebook could take this, modify it a bit, and have a product that looks like their own cross-network chat client.

At this time Soashable isn’t quite up to the standard that Meebo has set because it only supports MSN Messenger, AIM, and Yahoo. They’ve got some stuff in the works to add XMPP/Google Talk support to a future release which is what I’m really looking forward to. Soashable also doesn’t do file transfers, chat rooms, or some other little things here and there.

I find this project to be cool because the only limitations users will have, such as the size of file transfers, will be what they set on their own servers. Not to mention the additional privacy you’ll get by running this yourself.

Soashable (download the code)
[via Webware]