April 29, 2013
Meebo Bar Gets The Axe Nearly A Year After Being Acquired By Google
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
True to form, Google has announced they´ll be killing, or “sunsetting” as they put it on the West coast, another one of their many services. This time the victim is Meebo Bar, a publishing tool from a company Google only acquired nearly a year ago.
While the search giant put the axe to many of Meebo´s services after they bought the company last June, Meebo Bar made a comeback in December. According to the Meebo website, Google plans to kill this service on June 6, 2013 and shift even more of their focus on Google+ and Google+ Plug-ins.
“Five years ago, we launched the Meebo Bar to bring community, engagement, and revenue to publisher sites,” reads an opening statement on Meebo's site.
“As part of the Google team, this continues to be our focus, but we want to best serve mobile and desktop publishers moving forward. Therefore, we have decided to focus our resources on initiatives like the recently launched Google+ Sign-In (which includes interactive posts and over-the-air app installs) and the Google+ plug-ins,” the statement explained.
Google picked up the company in June 2012 for an estimated $100 million. It was assumed by many that Google bought the company to boost their own social offerings in Google+.
Straight away, Google began to pick apart Meebo´s service and throw the pieces to the wind. Meebo Bar also disappeared, but quietly showed up again last December, this time with plenty of Google functionality. The new Meebo Bar featured Google+ integration, such as a share button and a share counter, as well as Facebook and Twitter integration.
The Meebo team is asking developers to remove the inactive Meebo code once the service is killed on June 6. The company will leave their dashboard portion of the service open until the end of June, however, to give these developers a little extra time to download their analytics.
Google has the habit of either buying existing services or beginning new ones only to “sunset” them later. The company claims this “spring cleaning” is all an extension of their commitment to put “more wood behind fewer arrows.”
For instance, last June the company axed several lesser known services and one well used one, iGoogle. The other services laid to rest that day – Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback and others – were tiny features used by tiny groups of users. iGoogle, on the other hand, was more widely used as a start page by many, bringing together RSS feeds, social timelines, email, news and more on one unified start page. This service went dark on November 1, 2012.
The most notable sunsetting of a Google product was announced last month when Google casually mentioned they´d be killing the most popular and widely used RSS feed aggregator, Google Reader.
Though RSS has never been broadly adopted by mainstream Internet users, those who have incorporated these feeds into their daily browsing behaviors likely used Reader in some portion of their setup. Google claimed usage of Reader had been waning in the previous month, spurring their decision to dim the lights on the service. While the news was a boon for many Reader alternatives, it is likely many faithful users are still feeling the sting.