updated 06:31 pm EDT, Sat May 12, 2012
Google sets sights on chat, social sharing service
Google is rumored to be considering an acquisition of chat and social sharing service Meebo. Details are scarce, but sources tell AllThingsD that the deal is in the works, and Meebo could see a significant payday. Meebo was founded in 2005 as a Web-based instant message client, duplicating the functionality of AIM, Yahoo IM, and similar offerings.
Later years saw the company develop the Meebo Bar, which adds a persistent social sharing and advertising layer to sites users visit, allowing them to carry on chatting with friends while surfing. The company is now pushing a tool allowing users to create an interest profile to get custom recommendations delivered regularly.
According to sources cited in the report, the acquisition could carry a $100 million price tag. The sources don't elaborate on why Google -- which has its own social network and instant messaging services -- would be looking at acquiring Meebo, but the rumored buyout could be a tacit acknowledgement that Google+ has failed to attract sufficient numbers of users. Adding Meebo's 190 million customers could be a means of shoring up and expanding Google's social-networking clout as the company continues to compete against Facebook for data related to users' social activities. [via AllThingsD]