Why Imo Messenger is Cutting Support for Third Party IM Clients

Woke up this morning to bad news (and not even in my own inbox). imo messenger, my favorite chat client that combines most chat services into one and has a slick user interface has made the decision to cut support for all the third party messengers and become yet another stand alone client. I was originally going to post about how I feel about it, but since that is rather obvious, I’ve decided that it would be more valuable to post imo’s reasons for making this decision. I came across an imo broadcast in which both founders participated. Here are some of their responses to unhappy users.

Ralph Harik
We understand this is going to make some users unhappy. However, we want to provide a reliable a great messaging service. We feel that the only way to do that is to have us build out our own network.

Ralph Harik
But beyond that, providing a feature like video calling isn’t possible across all these other networks. So we end up with complicated interfaces to handle many corner cases.

Ralph Harik
That’s true but these other networks don’t always provide a reliable way for us to connect to them. What ends up happening is users get upset at us and often it’s out of our control.

Georges Harik
there are some problems with the 3rd party approach as well. For example, Facebook has a setting that says whether they deliver messages to 3rd party apps. So we decided we could never do Facebook messaging as well as Facebook.

Georges Harik
@Steve half the people don’t turn that on and they tell us we have an unreliable service, and in that case they’re right. They’re better of receiving a message from someone using Facebook. So if you want to use Facebook messenger, Facebook is a better option for you.

Georges Harik
With Google we discovered that while we supported the busy status, Hangouts doesn’t and was showing our users with a busy status as offline. It’s hard to keep track of these subtleties in a product we don’t control.

Georges Harik
AOL released their entire aim team and doesn’t let us connect to aim half the time.

Georges Harik
We want to provide a good service, and we want to run more of the experience, and the complexity of dealing with these networks is making our service worse.
@Steve we don’t even understand the repercussions, Skype turned us off without a warning.

Georges Harik
The other networks have been clear they don’t want other people connecting to them. So we decided we’re going to spend our effort on our network.
If we get bigger, we can let other people connect to us, and fulfill everyone’s desire for an open network where anyone can be a client.
But we’re not going to do it by debugging issues with each of the other networks daily.

Georges Harik
@Fer we agree completely, we’ve been working on our clients, and have decided that more of our attention should be paid to making our apps, and our service, bug free and fast.

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