Google+ has started testing a social side bar on certain websites that allows users to chat directly with other people on the page. This could potentially be a new monetization stream for the company. The social side bar would also have notifications and sharing options.
It is not surprising to hear about Google+ testing out this type of service because they acquired Meebo about 6 months ago. Some of the Meebo team was brought on to Google+ after the acquisition took place. At the time of the acquisition, Google said that the Meebo bar would be used for “improvements and new features.”
Google ended up shutting down most of Meebo’s services shortly after the acquisition including mobile apps, messenger capabilities, and widgets.