(Updated to reflect comments from Google)
When Google purchased Meebo last week, for a reported $100 million, it was unclear what relationship the two services would have. Meebo has its messenger service, but Google already had Gchat. Meebo’s website seemed to suggest it wanted to be a social networking service, but Google already had Google+. So what was going to happen to all of Meebo’s services?
“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,” Google said after the purchase.
Well, now we know what they actually meant was that, while they were going to use Meebo’s people, Meebo itself was not part of the picture. Meebo has now announced that almost all of its products will be shut down on July 11.
Meebo Messenger, which was its instant messaging service, Sharing on Meebo, which allowed users to connect to their interests, Meebo Me, a widget which allowed Meebo Messenger to be embedded onto a website, and all of Meebo’s apps will all be discontinued. Meebo directs its users to download its chat logs and share history if they choose to, before they are officially deleted next month.
The only service that will still continue to operate will be the Meebo Bar, which allows users to build an “interest profile” by favoriting things they like. The Meebo Bar was incorporated into different web sites, such as TV Guide, TMZ and Entertainment Weekly. The Meebo Bar, the site says, “will see continued improvements and new features in the weeks and months ahead.”
A Google spokesperson tells VatorNews that Meebo's products will be shut down in order for the team to focus on enchancing Google's existing platforms.
Founded in 2005, Mountain View, California-based Meebo never truly found its identity. It started out as an instant messaging service, before venturing into a failed chat room service called “Meebo Rooms.” The Meebo Bar, it’s most successful product, was launched in 2009.
In its lifetime, Meebo raised over $60 million total, including $25 million in series C funding in 2008 from Jafco Ventures, Time Warner Investments and KTB Ventures and and $27.5 million in series D funding in 2010 from Khosla Ventures, as well as past investors Sequoia Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Time Warner, and Jafco.
(Image source: technology-corner.com)