Peekko Chat review
Peekko Chat was launched in January 2006 and put on the notorious Web 2.0 Products and Services list on Listible.com 1 month later. The start was promising and a new Web 2.0 succes seemed to be born, but what has happened since? Before I answer this question, let me first give a short description of what Peekko Chat is and how it works.
At first glance, Peekko Chat looks like a regular integrated chat tool. It is an extension for your Firefox browser, adding a toolbar to your browser window. Than what’s so special? Well, the new ingredient Peekko adds to the world of chatting is that you can find people to chat with while you’re watching other websites. For instance, if I’m checking up on current events on a news site such as CNN.com, I can see who else is logged into Peekko Chat and looking at CNN.com. So, instead of going to a chatroom to talk about the news, I can go to the source and talk to people who are looking at the same thing, at exactly the same time.
This all sounded very promising (to me…) and I decided to install Peekko Chat to see if I could find people who were also adding links to their Del.icio.us account or checking out the Yahoo! Sports news on a sunday evening. Installing was easy and within 3 minutes I was ready to go. Being launched 9 months ago you would expect the application to be having a core of loyal users, however, this was not the case. Peekko Chat users on CNN.com? Zero. Peekko Chat users on Yahoo! Sports.com? Zilch. On YouTube.com? None! This is when I discovered the button on the toolbar that shows the websites with the most Peekko Chat users online. Number one on this list was Uselessjunk.net with three active users. Instead of finding a new world of chatting, I found an abandonned village.
As it turns out, Peekko Chat is being used as a private chat channel by a handful of people. After introducing myself as a newbie on the Uselessjunk.com Peekko chat, wanting to know more about Peekko I was greated with silence. When I asked them if there usually were more people they replied by asking me where I was from and if I was male or female. Having answered their questions they went on with their inside jokes showing no futher interest, and I don’t think my answers (male/Amsterdam) had anything to do with that. Not even the usual drug related remark! At least their subject of discussion was related to the website they were visiting…
I had to conclude that Peekko Chat was nothing more than another Web 2.0 failure. But why is it not a raving succes? Is it because people don’t want another toolbar in their already tab and bookmark stacked browser window? I don’t think so. I found the Peekko Chat interface quite pleasing and userfriendly. Maybe it’s because chatting is outdated? Again, I don’t think so. Messenger services are still very popular and subject based networking on webites like MySpace.com is thriving. Could it be because of bad marketing? I do think so. The last newsfact on the Peekko Chat homepage dates February 12, 2006, and it is common knowledge that inactivitity is killing for most applications, especially if they’re Web 2.0. I like the Peekko Chat concept and I believe it would be a great succes if it were launched as (f.i.) a Google application or by somebody with more marketing knowhow. At this moment, however, Peekko Chat is nothing more than a private chat channel for a couple of people talking about useless junk.