Google buys Meebo, shuts down its good products.

Maybe Google’s motto should be, “Don’t be evil unprofitable”.

Meebo Chat screenshot
screenshot: Meebo

I’ve been a happy user of the Meebo Me IM (instant messaging) widget and Meebo chat service since 2008. Both are easy to use and reliable. This blog uses them to allow you, dear reader, to chat with me when I’m on line. Google acquired Meebo last week and announced that on July 11 they will close the Meebo chat service on PC and smartphone platforms. They will keep Meebo’s worst product, the hideous Meebo Bar. (it’s a persistent horizontal bar that superimposes itself atop participating websites in order to display ads and trash news headlines. Yuck.)

The Meebo chat client widget is/was very clean and simple to use. I don’t know if the fact that it requires Flash led to its downfall. Their “console” allowed a user to aggregate multiple IM accounts in one chat client. Apparently Meebo couldn’t find a way to make money with their IM products. And neither can Google, I guess.

If Google truly wanted to not be evil, it would release Meebo’s IM software as open source. Fat chance.

Now I need to find a simple IM chat widget to stick on this blog, and elsewhere. Any suggestions?

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

3 thoughts on “Google buys Meebo, shuts down its good products.”

  1. I doubt they plan on open sourcing it, the wiki says:
    “In June 2012, Google Inc. acquired Meebo as a companion to Google Plus. It would help Google expand its social networking services.”
    I am going to miss Meebo until it is added into a Google service of sorts.


  2. I completely agree with you. In fact I found your blog by searching for “google meebo evil” I have been a user of meebo since 2007 and was not happy to read about the google purchase. I guess the 3 founders are laughing to the bank, and I don’t blame them a bit. But how does it hurt google, what would it cost them to keep meebo messenger alive? Just as a show of good faith to keep people happy and keep them thinking positive thoughts about Google. But no!! It’s all about the piece of crap meebo bar.
    Well glad I’m not the only one unhappy about this, but I get the feeling Google just does not give a crap about us users.


    1. I think that we may already be seeing the Messy Bar on Google Maps (or is it named Google Places this week?). I just looked up a few local businesses. No longer is a single page displayed for each business. If you wish to read reviews, you must click on the Reviews link. A new window opens (for no good reason) in which there is an obnoxious persistent brown bar at the top of the screen that nags me to join Google+.

      The old Google Places/Maps display was fine. This one is a mess.

      Maybe it’s time for Larry Page to return the CEO reins to Eric Schmidt, who despite his smugness, at least exhibited some taste.


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