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Google Plus minus Meebo Bar equals Google minus $100m

'Buy 'em out, boys'

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Google will axe the website widget Meebo Bar just one year after buying the company that built it.

The advertising giant said it scrapped the tool to focus on its Google+ plugins.

Google bought Meebo on 4 June reportedly for $100m, before proceeding to strip away much of its functionality.

It started as an instant-messaging service compatible with other web chat programs. It then evolved into the Meebo bar, which could be installed by webmasters along the tops of their sites and allowed visitors to easily share links with friends. It also slurped up data about people and used that to hit them with advertising.

Before Meebo's demise, Google stripped away all its features until it only consisted of the Meebo bar with added Google+ capabilities.

It will be retired on 6 June, a few weeks before Google Reader is due to be scrapped.

In a statement, the Meebo widget's makers said: "Five years ago, we launched the Meebo Bar to bring community, engagement, and revenue to publisher sites. 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.

"Thank you for being a Meebo Bar publisher. We have truly appreciated the opportunity to serve you."

Is it unclear what will happen to the "Sandy, Seth, and the Meebo Team", who signed the statement, although it is possible they will be put to work making new features for Google+.

Before Google bought Meebo, it was used by 100 million people a month, apparently. ®

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