Update at foot of post.
It looks like Google has begun putting its acquisition of Meebo to use after a chat bar looking very much like that of the advertising startup was spotted in the wild — screenshot below.
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Google made it clear that it bought Meebo — which was popular with advertisers but despised by many Internet users for incessantly clogging space — specifically for its Google+ team back in June, and it looks like the company is testing, or beginning to roll out, a Meebo-inspired bar to increase user engagement on the service.
Now the bar has cropped up on TVGuide.com, where user Clayton Pritchard ran into it. As you can see, the bar allows users to see notifications and sharing options on the right side, while it contains information about the page and content with in on the left. The share buttons enlarge when clicked on to bring up a familiar box through which users can share, +1 or comment on a Google+ status.
The sharing options are usually present at the top of a page so, by presenting them in the bar which floats at the bottom of a user’s screen, Google could well see more shares and activity from users.
We expect that there is more to come from Meebo and the team working at Google+. Given the lucrative revenues that Meebo was making publishers, we’d expect some kind of money-making initiative — such as monetized chat — might emerge, in addition to plans that help increase user engagement levels.
This month saw Google launch Google+ communities, add 16 new features and provide an update on the service’s overall user numbers. The company says Google+ has more than 500 million registered users, of which 235 million actively use its features (+1′ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends, etc) while 135 million are active in the stream only.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to clarify that the bar was spotted on TVGuide.com, not TVGuide’s Google+ page. We are awaiting clarification from Google about any new features to the bar.