updated 10:10 am EDT, Wed June 20, 2007
Social networking site MySpace this morning launched MySpaceIM, its first instant messaging network and a different approach compared to traditional IM networks. Instead of relying on a simple screen name, the service draws on MySpace member profiles and hooks into the site's social features. Comments, friend requests, and mail alerts arrive as soon as the messages appear, rather than coming only through e-mail; a music player will stream friends' profile songs, and finding profiles themselves speeds up, according to MySpace. New to MySpaceIM is the ability to trade short sound clips and photos as well as multi-user instant chat.
Already available as a beta, the IM client is a free download for both normal MySpace users as well as every localized site, including custom language and profile support for each region. It currently requires Windows 98 through Vista; no mention has been made of a Mac OS X version.