In a statement, Google said Meebo (see disclosure below) would work closely with its Google+ team after the purchase:
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.
In a blog post on their site, Meebo announced news of the purchase:
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.
BetaBeat reported that much of Meebo’s staff was let go before the purchase was announced. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on personnel changes at Meebo, but a source familiar with the company’s plans said that Seth Sternberg, Meebo’s CEO, and Sandy Jen, the CTO, will join Google in the purchase as well as an unspecified number of engineers from Meebo’s product team.
Meebo, founded in 2005, was originally known for its web chat client called Meebo Messenger. It has now expanded to provide a Meebo Bar on webpages that encourage readers to share a site’s content through social media. Individual consumers are also encouraged to create profiles where they can mark their likes and dislikes and receive articles that reflect these preferences.
AllThingsD originally reported last month that Google was in talks to purchase Meebo for $100 million, and TechCrunch reported Monday that the final number was in that ballpark. A Google spokesperson declined to provide information on the terms of the purchase.
Disclosure: Meebo is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, GigaOM. Om Malik, founder of GigaOM, is also a venture partner at True.