Google Buys Meebo To Bolster Google+

The headline basically says it all, but to underscore how committed Google is to trying to turn Google+ social networking into a real Facebook competitor they’re going to acquire Meebo for about $100 million. That’s peanuts compared to the $1 billion that Facebook spent on a largely defensive acquisition of Instagram, so it seems that Mountain View and Menlo Park have a disagreement as to how much of a strategic asset this really is.

I’ll also just observe more broadly that it’s really impressive how much Microsoft and Google are, in their different ways, spending on an unwillingness to leave well enough alone. The Search/Maps/Mail troika of advertising platforms is a great business for Google and Windows/Office is a great business for Microsoft. But Microsoft is determined to get into search and Google is determined to get into social networking both for reasons that don’t strike me as particularly well-articulated.