Google Discontinuing Meebo Bar Chat, Sharing Services

Google says it's dropping Meebo in deference to initiatives such as Google+ Sign-In.

Google is shuttering its Meebo chat and content-sharing toolbar services on June 6, less than a year after acquiring the company in June of 2012.

The Meebo team announced the closing on the Meebo Website.

"Five years ago, we launched the Meebo Bar to bring community, engagement and revenue to publisher sites," the post states. "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. This means we will retire the Meebo Bar, effective June 6, 2013."

The closing of Meebo is part of a continuing process of spring "house cleanings" that have been announced by Google for about two years as the company works to shed units and products that it feels have grown stale or unpopular. The house cleanings began in June 2011 when Google shuttered Google Health and PowerMeter, and then its Google Labs products. In August 2011, Google closed social software unit Slide, an acquisition that worked independently of the Google+ team.

Google then continued its spring cleaning efforts when Aardvark, Desktop, Fast Flip and Image Labeler were dropped as the company continued to place its focus on core products, such as search through, mobile through Android, Chrome on the desktop and YouTube for video.

Last July, Google axed the Google Mini enterprise search appliance, the iGoogle personalized home page and several other Web-based services.

Ironically, Google also cut its Google Talk Chatback service at that time because it was "outdated," according to an earlier post by a Google executive. That service was replaced with similar services from the Meebo bar, which Google had recently acquired at that time. Meebo allowed users to create a customized stream of online content and information that matches their interests. Google was planning on encouraging Websites to replace their Google Talk Chatback widgets with Meebo.

Obviously, that strategy is changing again.

Google is telling users of the Meebo bar that they don't have to do anything to prepare for the ending of the Meebo features.

"No action is required on your part," states a post about the service closure. "After June 6, 2013, the Meebo Bar will stop loading on any publisher sites. We do recommend you remove the inactive Meebo code from your site as a general code housekeeping task."

Users can remove the Meebo Bar from their sites by removing the Meebo code snippet or by removing it through the CMS tools that they used to install it.

The Meebo Bar Dashboard and its analytics feature will be available until June 30, 2013. Users who want to maintain their analytics reports can download them by clicking the "save to .csv" link on the individual stats pages, according to the post.

Meebo began in 2005 as a service enabling people to communicate with others across instant messaging platforms such as Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, Facebook Chat and others. It later added the Meebo Bar, a tool placed at the bottom of a Web page enabling people to chat with each other while on the same site. It next added Meebo Bar functionality to the Apple iPhone and to Google Android devices. When it acquired Meebo, Google said it planned to integrate it into its Google+ social media platform to continue to take on social media giant Facebook.