In a blog post, Meebo announced that they are being acquired by Google. Meebo has been working for seven years to provide social chat services to any publisher that was interested in it. It was definitely a sign of an earlier version of the social web, where companies were looking for plug-in social services that would help business connect with consumers and consumers connect with other consumers. There aren’t a ton of details about how Meebo will be used at Google yet, but it may be something to do with Google+.
Meebo was most famous for the Meebo Bar, which allowed publisherse specifically to connect its audience with all sorts of social content, including most shared links, other users and chat. It suffered some criticism for being intrusive at times, but overall was a popular plug in solution for business who wanted to increase the social engagement of their site without developing and entirely custom solution. Check out an example of the bar on AMC’s Mad Men site below.
Reports from AllThingsD and TechCrunch suspect a purchase price of around $100 million, which is in line with its overall $70m in funding before the acquisition. Some of Meebo’s staff was laid off as part of the deal. It’s not certain whether the Meebo team will be working on something new, or whether the Meebo Bar will be ported over to Google+. I imagine the team will have a chance to build something similar for Google+, but that’s just an inference.
Check out Meebo’s blog post here.