Google has acquired one-time mobile chat king and current internet uglifier Meebo. Details are sparse right now, but the purchase would make sense if Google’s after Meebo as an ad platform.
Another possibility? Meebo’s bottom bar would be a logical social and traffic information gatherer to pair with Google+. As for the sticker price, All Things D had it at $US100 million last month. We’ll let you know more as more information is available.
Update: Yep, looks like Meebo’s going to be pulled under the Google+ umbrella. Google gave The Next Web the following statement:
We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the web, just as they do in real life. With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google+ team. We look forward to closing the transaction and working with the Meebo team to create more ways for users to engage online.”
So what does that actually mean for Google+ users and web users in general? Not necessarily that Google’s going to stick a garish black bar at the bottom of your screen, though we’ve seen that it’s fine with pinning one to the top of your browser. It’s more likely going to be using Meebo’s technology to share and distribute content over Google+, and perhaps integrate its other products into other social media platforms. Or it could be a push into social advertising.
One sombre note about the acquisition is that despite the cheery atmosphere to the Meebo blog post, the company reportedly laid off almost all of its employees today, just before the acquisition announcement. [Meebo]