Google has announced that it will be shutting the Meebo Bar publishing tool to focus on Google+ sign-in service as well as other plug-ins. Meebo Bar will be retired on June 6.
On its home page, Meebo has put up a post for publishers announcing the shuttering of the service. “Five years ago, we launched the Meebo Bar to bring community, engagement, and revenue to publisher sites,” reads the post. “As part of the Google team, this continues to be our focus, but we want to best serve mobile and desktop publishers moving forward. Therefore, we have decided to focus our resources on initiatives like the recently launched Google+ Sign-In (which includes interactive posts and over-the-air app installs) and the Google+ plug-ins.”
If you have been using the Meebo publishing feature, you can start off by removing the code through your content management system like WordPress, Blogger or TypePad. Any configuration changes you make to the Meebo Bar post June 6 will have no effect. You can continue to access the bar’s analytics until June 30. Google has advised publishers to download analytics via the “save to csv” link on the individual stats page, in case you wish to access them beyond the last date. If you have created custom widgets that you would like to save, you can copy them from the custom button tool on your dashboard.
In favour of the Google+ social share bar
In December last year, a Google+ social sharing bar had cropped up on certain websites, laced with plenty of Meebo-like features. Google seemed to have been testing a social side bar on certain websites that allows users to chat directly on the page, setting the stage for a bigger advertising stream, quite similar to what Meebo used to have.
The notifications and sharing options are placed on the right side of the bar. The left of it is filled with information about the page and content. You can share the page with your circle or even +1 the page right from the bar.
While sharing options are usually placed all across the page, having a constantly floating bar could help show a rise in shares and +1s on Google+. On the other hand, most users consider the floating bar to be a bit of an eyesore, taking up a lot of space. Meebo too faced criticisms over these features.
Google acquired Meebo in June last year and had announced that it will be shutting down some of the popular Meebo services like Meebo Messenger, Sharing on Meebo, Meebo Me and all Meebo Mobile Apps. The seven-year-old start-up, Meebo was initially a browser-based messaging service back in 2005 and had branched out into a social toolbar for sharing links and webpages across multiple social networking sites eventually.
Google+ had not been faring too well when it acquired Meebo but has since undergone several revamps to make users embrace it. Google+ added the “Communities” feature in November to bring together people with similar interests for topical discussions. The communities aim to be a common platform for the users, by the users to initiate and host discussions.
Google has been trying to weave all its services into one large ecosystem, and the key to access it is your Google+ profile. YouTube integrated the feature of allowing users to connect their Google+ profiles with their YouTube ones. The Google Play Store too now integrates your Google+ profiles for all its reviews. Even though Google claims having a Google+ ID on reviews is to weed out fake or spam comments, it is evident that the company is looking at the larger picture, making Google+ an integral part of everyone’s lives.
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