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