Remember back when you had to use a different app for each and every chat network? And then came apps like Trillian, Nimbuzz, fring, imo, etc. One app to talk to all your friends, even if they were scattered over different chat networks.
But multi-network chat apps are like lemmings. They bundle different chat networks, then they build their own, then they cut the other networks out, and then they die.
Nimbuzz dropped almost all third-party networks, and fring and eBuddy thought it was time to plug their own networks by yanking all the other chat networks out of their apps. Does anyone know if fring and Nimbuzz and eBuddy still exist?
And now imo decided to dig a grave for itself and jump right into it. There was a time back when imo connected to no less than 12 different networks, but I just received this farewell note from them:
Date: March 2, 2014
Subject: imo discontinuing support for all third-party messaging networks
To: android underground
On March 3, 2014, we will start discontinuing support for all third-party instant messaging networks. We know change isn't always easy, but we hope our users will trust that this will make imo an even better service. You will be able to download your chat history on o.imo.im from third-party networks until March 7, 2014.
Yep, you read that right. I got a mail from imo late in the evening on March 2 telling me that the one and only reason why I use imo will be axed the next day. And I get less than a week to download a copy of my chat history. Guess what? When I tried to download my chats imo gave me an empty file!
First they rake in customers using Facebook, Google Talk, MSN/Windows Live/whatever M$ calls it now, VK, etc. as bait, then they spit out an app update that forces all users to make an imo chat account, and then they make that forced chat account the only network left in the app...
They must be popping open the champagne at Trillian HQ now that their main competitor decided to kill itself.