Google acquires Meebo for an estimated US$100m

5 Jun 2012

Website toolbar and ad platform Meebo has been acquired by Google for an estimated US$100m. The move could be seen as a key episode in the social wars as Meebo’s technology, which integrates with Twitter and Facebook, could give Google+ some serious new functionality and reach.

Meebo, which began life in 2005 as a chat app, has evolved into a toolbar application that aggregates content from websites and displays ads at the bottom of a publisher’s website.

Its technology allows website publishers to display pop-up messages, integrate social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and offers a slot for advertising.

It also provides instant messaging capabilities, such as AOL Instant Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo! and MSN.

Social publisher tools

“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,” Google said making the announcement.

“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.”

How this will manifest itself will be very interesting. Could we see the launch of a Google+ toolbar that will sit on many publishers’ websites? If so, this is the kind of social media and advertising integration that will get Facebook and Twitter to sit up and pay attention.

Meebo is understood to have attracted more than US$70m from investors.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years