Social networks like myYearbook and movie fan network Flixster already integrate Meebo’s white-label instant message service, Community IM , so their users can chat across instant message services without having to leave their sites. Those users will be getting small banner and icon ads within the chat toolbar on the Community IM interface later this month. Click on the icon and you get a 900 x 400 ad, like the one for Havaianas, below.

It’s not clear how much money Meebo could end up making here, but the idea seems to be working pretty good so far.

Meebo has already been running these ads on its own site, and it says, and has been getting a better response than some other forms of interactive advertising. It’s apparently harder for users to miss ads when they’re clicking around in chat windows with friends. For social networks and entertainment sites, these ads could be more appealing because they include pop-outs for interactive media like simple games or movie trailers. On Meebo’s home site, the ads have been getting a one percent click-through rate, around ten times higher than click-through rates on social networks banner ads. The users who clicked on the ad spent an average of one minute thirty five seconds with the ad, and ten percent of them shared it with their friends on Meebo.

Meebo already lets you chat to friends on Microsoft’s Messenger, AOL, Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MySpace, Facebook and other services. With Community IM, it is positioning itself as an easier way for other social sites to add IM integration with any major IM provider that those sites users might prefer. Overall, Meebo reaches 45 million people through its home site, on its embeddable Meebo group chat room widgets and Community IM.

A number of other web companies have been looking into Community IM-style chat syndication service, including Microsoft, AOL and Facebook. But they so far haven’t tried competing directly with Meebo’s syndication aggregation.

But they may become inspired by any money-making success Meebo has here, and begin offering their own forms of instant message ads. Facebook, on a somewhat related note, is now offering in-IM invites within its IM integration for third-party applications. This lets users do things like invite their Facebook friends to play a game using chat.

But again, it’s not clear how big the market is for chat advertising. More notable, for now, is the success of virtual goods integrated into IM, like selling users virtual cloths for their online avatars. Leading Chinese IM provider Tencent made more than $1 billion in 2008, mostly from virtual goods and other premium services — and mostly not from advertising. Perhaps Meebo will move into that area one day?

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