Reinvent How You Communicate – Google Acquires Jaiku

Jaiku

Well, that didn’t take long. On the go to the public not long over a year and Jaiku has been snapped up by Google. I can’t say that I didn’t see it coming – you get a reliable web service with great social network capabilities, a nice colour scheme and a funky name and Google or some other heavyweight won’t be too far off with a big bag of money.

This, just as Google’s shares today had broken the US$600 level. Maybe another small increase tomorrow as a result of today?

Wonder why it hasn’t happened to Twitter yet? Or is the Jaiku acquisition a kick in the stones to Twitter since at the heart of things their services are very similar. Why choose one over the other? For me it me it came down to three factors – reliability, functionality (use of channels) and interface design, the overall interface something I find a lot more appealing than that of Twitter’s, but I’m not one to bash the Twitter service as I still use it and have no problem in using it.

Straight off the bat, Jaiku has gone down the Google road of being invite only. Existing Jaiku users can still invite their friends into the service while people attempting to sign up from here on can apply for a limited invitation. Welcome to the members-only club, boys.

In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now.

No doubt the financial clout and power behind Google will allow Jaiku to expand – hopefully expanding in it’s own manner and brand as opposed to getting sucked into the grand scheme of things. It is a simple service, I don’t see any reason to over complicate it. Though when Twitter announced earlier in the summer that you could import your gMail contacts I figured that they were next on the shopping list – maybe they will be, but with Jaiku going to Google I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the likes of Yahoo or Microsoft drawing up plans for what they could do with Twitter, “keeping up appearances” and all that. Of course, I wasn’t the only one to think that.

We’ve a while to go yet before seeing what Google produce on the fifth of November (this being the rumoured rival to Facebook through a redevelopment of Orkut’s current platform) but they’ve got just over three weeks to get Jaiku hooked up with it.

See the new Jaiku Google FAQ for more or read the original blog post.

Other Links
Me on Jaiku | Me on Twitter

Author: Ken McGuire

Runs Event Media and The Devious Theatre Company and writes about food at Any Given Food. You'll find me on Twitter here and here.