Meebo, the seven year-old chat service that morphed into a website toolbar and ad platform, is indeed selling to Google. The company confirmed the news a few minutes ago, and we’ve since dug up some more details.
Second, we’ve learned that the product team will be using its expertise to help build out publisher tools for Google+. We don’t know if this means there’ll be some sort of new Google+ toolbar coming. But, presumably the existing Meebo properties will be morphed into G+ or otherwise closed.
Finally, following the original tip we got today, we’ve confirmed that there are layoffs happening within the sales and marketing arms of the company.
Meebo has been through an intense entrepreneurial experience. It first gained traction because it offered a simple way for users to chat across IM protocols from Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, AOL and eventually other services like Facebook. It also experimented with its own developer platform, before eventually discovering some success with a toolbar that web publishers can add to their sites. This feature includes chat and sharing options, as well as ads.
Beyond product expertise, the large install base of around 100 million monthly active users (via comScore, last December) could serve as a new venue for Google to push its own branded social networking features. But this is speculation for now. We’ll update if we get more.