Google to discontinue Meebo social toolbar in favor of Google+

Google acquired Meebo in June last year

Google plans to shut down in June the Meebo Bar for receiving and sharing personalized content from websites in favor of Google+ tools for interaction between websites and users.

The Internet giant acquired Meebo in June last year. Besides offering a toolbar that offered personalized content as well as displayed advertisements, with connections to Twitter and other social networks, Meebo, set up in 2005, also offered an instant messaging application.

In July last year, Google decided to shelve Google Talk Chatback which allowed websites to embed a widget to engage with their visitors. "It's now outdated, so we're turning off Chatback and encouraging websites to use the Meebo bar," Google said in a post announcing the discontinuation or merger of over 30 of its products.

It is now the turn of Meebo to be retired. It will be discontinued on June 6, as the team working on Meebo has decided to focus its resources on initiatives like the recently launched Google+ Sign-In, which includes interactive posts and over-the-air app installs from publisher websites, and Google+ plug-ins such as the +1 recommendation button, the Meebo team said on the Meebo website.

The Meebo Bar was launched "to bring community, engagement, and revenue to publisher sites," and this will continue to be the focus of the team, it added.

Website publishers have been informed that after June 6, the Meebo Bar will stop loading on their sites. The inactive Meebo code is recommended to be removed from the site as a general code housekeeping task. The creation of new Meebo Bars has been disabled. Meebo Bar Dashboard and analytics will be available until June 30, though websites will not be able to change toolbar configurations after June 6.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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