Nimbuzz Courts the iCrowd

A significant part of its meteoric rise to success has been due to Nimbuzz‘s client for the iPhone and iPod Touch handhelds. For example, according to the company, the iPhone alone accounts for 20 percent of the company’s active user base in France, and in the nine months since the release of that client, it has achieved Top Ten status on all iTunes AppStores across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Thinking it could do with even more enthusiastic support from the Apple community, Nimbuzz today announced an upgrade of the iPhone/iPod Touch client as well as its first-ever client for Apple Macintosh computers.

Nimbuzz, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Nimbuzz, it is a service, based in the Netherlands, that cross-connects on-line social networking and instant messaging services, letting users from Facebook, MySpace, AIM, Google Talk, MSN/Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and others, exchange IMs and make calls to one another through a single unified (Nimbuzz) interface –as well as keeping all their contacts, regardless of what services they’re members of, in a single address book. (Conspicuously missing from the list of compatible services is Skype, which Nimbuzz certainly supports on the Windows platform.)

Nimbuzz claims roughly one million new downloads per month these days, and the advent of these new Apple clients can only swell those numbers.

Developers at Nimbuzz worked hard to give these new interfaces a slick, Mac-like look and feel. The company points out that the new Macintosh client is the only product that provides direct calling from the desktop to IM buddies on Nimbuzz, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and Google Talk.

The upgraded handheld client now lets iPhone and iPod Touch users share multimedia files with their contacts. Nimbuzz is providing on-line storage for photo, video, and music files, so they can be accessed from anywhere, and cut way down on memory requirements for the devices.

Also new for the iPhone/iPod Touch client are push notification—with which you can request a chat or receive a notification from a friend, even if the application is closed—and location sharing, which uses Google Maps to show the location of any of your contacts, along with directions on getting there from here.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Evert-Jaap Lugt, CEO of Nimbuzz said: “We love the design and the flawless usability of Apple products. A large proportion of our already substantial iPhone fan base are also Mac users and have been asking for a bespoke version of Nimbuzz for their desktop and laptop Macs. As a result, we have worked closely with our users to ensure our suite of iPhone & Mac products work seamlessly together, matching the familiar design and UI style of Apple products.”

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