Google to gobble up Meebo
Google, hungry for new ways of reaching its still-nascent social networking audience, is gobbling up Meebo.
“We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!” the Meebo team wrote on its blog. “...Together with Google, we’re super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.”
Although no details have been officially disclosed, the price tag is said to be in the range of $100 million, according to an earlier report by AllThingsD. Based on comScore figures from December, Meebo has boasted about 100 million monthly active users, which is likely attractive to Google as it continues to build its user base for Google+.
Over the past seven years, the company has tried to remake itself and adjust to shifting trends. It went from focusing on offering one-stop instant messaging that incorporated most of the popular IM clients (Meebo Messenger) to promoting for site publishers an overlay for continuous sharing with advertising (Meebo Bar). Now, the site’s home page features for consumers a personalized stream of content based on their “interest profiles.”
Even with the funding and refocusing, the company has been on the market for a while.
At this point, the fate of Meebo is unclear, however there are reports of re-purposing staff and layoffs. Its product team will be focusing on building out publisher tools for Google+, and sales and marketing departments are enduring some layoffs, TechCrunch reported.
“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,” a Google spokesperson told The Times in an email. “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.”
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