Google is buying Meebo, a company originally known for its Web-chat client.
Meebo subsequently introduced a new advertising format, the Meebo Bar, which is distributed on popular websites like EW.com.
More recently—and mysteriously—it introduced a new service for consumers which seemed to position the company in the field of social discovery.
So Google might be buying Meebo to bolster its online-advertising business. Or it might be keen on Meebo’s social-discovery tools to bolster Google+.
AllThingsD had reported Google’s interest last month, putting the purchase price at around $100 million.
Interestingly, Meebo seems to have had mass layoffs in its New York office just before the acquisition was announced. A commenter tipped us that “90% of the New York office was let go,” and TechCrunch confirmed layoffs in Meebo’s sales and marketing departments. Most of the remaining Meebo team will head to Google+.
Meebo just posted the news on its blog, but didn’t disclose numbers:
We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!
For more than seven years we’ve been helping publishers find deeper relationships with their users and to make their sites more social and engaging. 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.
We’ve had a blast building Meebo so far and we’re really excited to start the next leg of our journey.
Thank you all for coming along for the ride!
UPDATE: Google just released the following statement:
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. With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google+ team. We look forward to closing the transaction and working with the Meebo team to create more ways for users to engage online.