I have been using Meebo since it was launched. At that time, it was just the thing I wanted. I had multiple accounts across most chat services and had friends and relatives using one service or the other. With Meebo, I could connect to all of them with a single log-in. With the Meebo widget installed in my blogs, I could instantly connect with those visiting my blog (that the conversations with random strangers visiting my blog never progress beyond ‘Hi' is another matter).

My interest in Meebo gradually declined when I bought my first smartphone and started using services such as Nimbuzz and eBuddy. They offered me the same functionalities on a mobile platform. I now use several multi-chat platform applications, including IM Plus, but have never tried Meebo's own app on my smartphone. Neither am I aware of anyone else using the Meebo app. The company has not been able to match apps like IM Plus or Nimbuzz. In fact, the Android app has not been updated for years!

Why is Google then buying Meebo? What's in it for users like us? If the acquisition is for chat, it doesn't make sense, as Google already has its own chat client that has been integrated into Gmail and Google Plus. There are also reports that Meebo will be used to make Google Plus ‘better'. Is Google going to allow an app in Google Plus that will enable chat with users in other platforms? Or is it the Meebo Bar that can be installed in websites to increase user engagement? It couldn't be that either as Google has enough resources to create a similar app at a fraction of the cost it is shelling out to acquire Meebo.

One acquisition that makes sense is the Quickoffice one. Google has not been able to do much with the Google Drive (Docs) app it has up and running. Hopefully, if Quickoffice can be integrated into Google Drive's cloud storage, it could make the the app even more functional.

(This article was published on June 10, 2012)
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