Google Buys Meebo in an Effort to Beef Up Google+ Engagement

Google buys MeeboSocial platform Meebo has announced their acquisition by Google. The deal, reportedly worth $100 million, is designed to help Google attract and keep users active within their social network, Google+.

Meebo started out as an instant messaging service, but expanded into social publisher tools. They work with advertisers and publishers to help them engage with users and stay connected for longer periods of time.

Founded in 2005, Meebo is based in Mountain View, California, and has an audience of about 100 million web users. They have since raised over $70 million in venture capital.

In their blog post acquisition announcement, Meebo wrote, “Together with Google, we’re super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.”

Over 170 million people have created Google+ accounts and though there are no hard stats on usage, engagement is certainly lower than on rival site, Facebook. In January 2012, Google made Google+ account creation mandatory when users sign up for other services such as YouTube or GMail.

‘‘We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the Web, just as they do in real life,’’ Google said in a statement. ‘‘With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google Plus team.’’

Social networking is expected to continue to grow throughout 2012; eMarketer predicts a 19.2 percent increase in the number of social network users over 2011, to 1.43 billion people. Pew Internet recently reported that 65 percent of Internet users in the United States use social networking sites.

Since 2009, Google has purchased over 140 companies, to the tune of $16 billion. The largest by far was their $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings.

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