Meebo’s merger with Google+ was imminent and that’s what seems to have finally happened after months of waiting. Google seems to be testing a social side bar on certain websites that will allow users to chat directly on the page and setting the stage for a bigger advertising stream, quite similar to what Meebo used to have.
The bar seems to have cropped up on TVGuide.com where it was first spotted by Google+ user Clayton Pritchard who shared the information on the site itself. 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.
Google+ social share bar on TVGuide.com
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 this 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 in to 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 last month 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+ communities seem to be a reincarnation of the community feature of Orkut, another social networking website that was bought over by Google too. In the pre-Facebook era, Orkut communities were modelled over the forum style of discussions. The communities had a long list of threads and discussions that went into pages, quite like Google+ Communities.
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. Google also mentioned that the advanced Google+ page management features that allow up to 50 people to manage a single Google+ page, or one person to manage up to 50 Google+ pages, will work for channels that have been linked with Google+ pages. Google has been trying this option with Google Analytics, YouTube Creators etc. and will be rolling this feature out to all creators in the weeks to come.
The Google Play Store too will integrate 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.