HuddleChat: Like Campfire, but Free


ScreenshotOne of the launch showcase applications for the new Google Apps Engine is HuddleChat. If you’ve ever used 37signals’ Campfire, HuddleChat is easy to understand: it has exactly the same feature set. You get ad-hoc web-based chatting with persistent transcripts, file upload and storage, and even special formatting for source code pastes. You also get integrated login with your Google account.

The only thing missing in the attempt to clone Campfire is the price: HuddleChat is free for any number of users, while Campfire charges you if you want more than 4 people in a room. If you need a quick place to meet up with colleagues for a talk on the web, without the hassle of figuring out what the common IM software is for the group or the challenges of dealing with IRC, HuddleChat is now the cheapest way to go.


George Donnelly

Yo Burt: It’s not a clone. And if cloning is so bad why do we have a hundred wiki implementations?

You’re just pissed at Google.


Yo George: All markets have some regulation, even free ones. It’s called commerce. There’s nothing wrong with different implementations of the same basic idea, however outright cloning is and should be frowned upon. It’s good to see Google doing the right thing, even if it took a bit of prodding.


huddle chat has been taken down due to developer complaints


For a site devoted to web workers, I would have thought you’d at least recognize that it’s alarming for a ‘do no harm’ company the size of Google to be ripping off an app designed by a small shop with 10 employees. If you don’t support your smaller designers, you lose the great innovation they bring to the web.

Mike Gunderloy

Guy: True, though it was clearly done with Google’s support.

HG: Interesting. I tried it out earlier and didn’t hit either of those problems. I wonder if the fabled Google is having some scaling issues?


This thing is really buggy. User preferences fails, the demo chat room on the first page fails. Could be cool once it is solid.


Erm.. HuddleChat doesn’t appear to be a google product or release.. It’s just a demo app for their new App Engine.

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