"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," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "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."
Meebo has about 229 million monthly visitors worldwide, according to Quantcast. As a point of comparison, Google is paying 10 times less than Facebook paid for Instagram, which had only 30 million users at the time it was acquired.
Meebo's main product is the Meebo Bar, a menu bar overlay for the Web that allows users to create interest profiles, share content, and chat with friends.
At the same time, it provides advertisers and publishers with ways to engage and reach Meebo Bar users. With Meebo, Google presumably hopes to develop advertising opportunities suited to online social interaction.
Launched in 2005, Meebo began life as a Web-based chat service.
The acquisition of Meebo is only Google's second of the year, if you don't count the approval of Google's bid for Motorola Mobility in February. In April, Google acquired TxVia, an online payment company.
In 2011, Google made 26 known acquisitions.
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