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HuddleChat: It's like Campfire, but free

A lot of folks say that Google's new App Engine is basically a free clone of Amazon's Web Services. And they're pretty much right. So we probably shouldn't be surprised to find that some of the applications already making use of Google App Engine are free clones of other popular programs.

HuddleChat is a web-based mult-user chat application built with Google's App Engine. And it's almost identical to Campfire, a chat application from 37signals. But while Campfire provides free chat rooms for up to 4 users, and charges a fee for rooms with more users, HuddleChat lets an unlimited number of users chat for free.

The interface is pretty slick and offers a bunch of features that make it ideal for virtual team meetings. Chats are automatically archived, and you can upload files like images which will be displayed in the chat. They're also saved on a Transcripts & Files page. You can invite any user by sending out an email from the site, or you can share the room's URL. Best of all, users can sign into a chat room using their Google ID. So if you already have a Gmail, Google Calendar, or Picasa account you don't need to sign up for a new account to use HuddleChat.

Predictably, the folks at 37signals are less than pleased with HuddleChat.

Update: Astute blogger Emily Price noticed that there's at least one important Campfire feature missing from HuddleChat: Search. Which is kind of funny when you consider the fact that HuddleChat is hosted by Google and was developed by two Google employees.

Update 2: HuddleChat is dead.

[via Web Worker Daily]

Tags: 37signals, campfire, chat, huddlechat