Wow, that was quick. It took only a week from Google’s purchase of social platform Meebo for the search giant to announce Meebo’s shutdown. What gives? Apparently, according to rumors, Google plunked down somewhere in the neighborhood of a cool $100 million to score Meebo. The rationale for the purchase, it is becoming clear now, is to acquire the expertise in social networking services that Meebo has. It has the technology and the people and Google paid some nice change for it. Not too unlike Google’s massive buyout of Motorola. Sadly, Meebo’s services are going to be collateral damage in the wake of Google’s technology acquisition. Meebo’s Messenger, sharing, widgets, and mobile apps will be shuttered. Indeed, the only thing that will survive the shutdown is the Meebo Bar which will continue to be developed and enhanced in the near future
According to Meebo’s website, its users have all of July to download their share histories and chat logs. Users are instructed to go to https://www.meebo.com/chatlog-download. If you want to nuke your account, you just need to visit meebo.com/support/deleteaccount/. Quick and easy. Meebo will surely be missed by many Internet users not least of which are users of Entertainment Weekly, TMZ, and TV Guide and other large content sites. Users on these sites used Meebo to chat with each other and discuss content found on those sites. Google has been very clear that it is interested in the Meebo team’s expertise in social content publishing. Google said that its newly acquired staff will fit in well with its existing Google+ team.
From a strategic perspective, Google needs to beef up its social networking brain trust pronto and its move with Meebo is a good step forward. However, it needs to quickly distinguish itself from Facebook in order to eat into the huge social networking market that Facebook currently has the lion’s share of. However, Google has an ace up its sleeve-its revenue model. For a variety of reasons, Google ads make money. Facebook ads have yet to prove themselves. That’s the biggest difference between these two social network players.