Bebo IM Debuts, and Users Are Grumpy

If it’s Bebo that you prefer to the larger social networks of the world, but want to enjoy the equivalent of Facebook Chat within your own friendly circle, how’s this. Bebo’s Emma Carlsgaard let it be known that a feature dubbed Bebo IM is now live. You can interact with contacts much the same as you would with a standalone instant messaging service.

The functions involved are simple enough. Chat with one or more persons. Block people you dislike. Report vagrants. All that fun stuff. Some words of warning, though. Site members who’ve responded to the announcement are largely unimpressed. A number of users complain of its being dysfunctional. Others want it shut off. Only a minority of respondents appear to enjoy what’s come of Bebo developers’ labor.

The IM option is relatively inconspicuous. It’s open by default and and sits in a partially collapsible box in the lower right corner of your browser window. Simply click on the miniaturized icon representing an IM contact list and you’re shown a summary of your friends. Click a name and start talking. Close any open windows when you’re done.

If the initial user commentary is anything to go by, you may encounter buggy operation. But you may not, so give it a try, we say. Nothing to download, after all. There’s definitely merit to the popular suggestion of keeping with your preferred IM service for the simple fact that it is what’s known. Oppositely, Bebo had to deliver an answer to Facebook’s own service one way or another. Whatever the case, it seems some extra time in the cooker likely would’ve ensured a more celebratory debut.

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