Google Buying Another Instant Messaging/Social Networking App?

By Dave

I really hope something nice comes from its recent aquisitions and the Google lab team, as I could use a replacement to MSN Messenger, and an IM client that integrates with Gmail.

Just a week ago, there was talk about how Google needed an instant messaging offering to compete with Yahoo and Microsoft (ignoring, of course, that they already have a mostly ignored IM client that they got when they bought Picasa).

Apparently, they took the claim seriously. They’re rumored to be announcing the purchase of Meetroduction, a combined IM/social networking offering that tries to combine instant messaging with the ability to find someone who’s physically near you. There are a number of small companies who have been working on something similar (and they’re probably not happy right now). This isn’t a separate instant messaging product, but one that plugs into existing IM offerings which might make a lot of sense for Google, since it wouldn’t need to build up a new userbase. Of course, the various IM providers haven’t always been happy when other companies mess with their systems in any way, and it’s easy to see them trying to block this service from working once it’s owned by Google.

Still, this seems like the sort of thing that could easily be merged with Google’s Dodgeball offering to create something that goes beyond mobile devices to instant messaging as well.

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