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Company: Jyve
Launched: July 2005
Location: Virtual – people in Silicon Valley, Toronto, Montreal, New York

What is it?

Jyve is a set of applications that enhance Skype. I eventually had to tear myself away from the site because I kept finding new tools and features, but the core functionality can be summarized into four categories:

  • Presence-related tools
  • Browser Sharing
  • Auto Responder
  • Call Forwarding


As far as I can tell, Jyve is only available for Windows at this time. To use Jyve’s advanced applications, you must be running Skype v.1.3 or later. There is a small (1.3 mb) download. Here is a breakdown of the applications and what they do:

Presence-Related Tools:

You can view these tools here, and a feature showcase here.

There are a number of code snippets on this page that you can put on a website and allow website visitors to interact with you in different ways. For instance, the button below shows whether or not I am online with Skype, and clicking on it calls me (I’m trusting you people not to abuse this button :-)).

The tools include CallTO (calls), IMTO (sends an instant message), send voicemail, create conference call, etc. These features will be extremely useful on intranets, wiki’s, etc. There is an “all in one” feature that creates a Jyve/Skype Card for you and that contains all of the features.

Browser Sharing:

You can use this tool to share a browser screen with other Skype users. None of my contacts are online right now since it’s the middle of the damn night (even the Jyve guys that I’ve been chatting with, Andrew Hansen and Gabe Morris, are offline – wake up so that we can look at TechCrunch together via Jyve! :-)), so I’m making an assumption that it works.

I like this stuff, and I hope that Jyve adds additional productivity tools over time – sharing any application would be perfect. Powerpoint is the obvious one.


This is a set of options that will leave auto-responses via IM or voice if you are away, on a call, etc. This is useful. But on a sidenote, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is fine if you don’t respond immediately to an IM – many times people are just sending you some information to consider and don’t necessarily want or expect an immediate response. But I digress…

Call Forwarding:

This is the good stuff for me as a user. When a Skype call comes in, you can set it to ring your home phone, forward to a cell phone, or forward to another skype name. Call forwarding requires SkypeOut (a pre-paid thing with skype that allows you to call normal phone numbers). This is really really cool. The only problem is that you must be logged in to Skype for it to work, and the time I most need calls forwarded is when I’m offline. This is a Skype issue, not a Jyve issue, and I’m sure Jyve will change this if/when Skype adds the functionality.

That’s it! Like I said, there is lots of other functionality on the site but this seems to be the main group of applications. For heave Skype users, Jyve is a wonderful product. And it is clear that they intend to evolve these products, and release new ones, in the future.

Additional Links: Tom Keating, Tris Hussey, Stuart Henshall #1, Stuart Henshall #2, Stuart Henshall #3, Stuart Henshall #4, Stuart Henshall #5, Stowe Boyd, 23corner, Fred on Something, Jan in Malaysia, Mobile Weblog, Soul Soup, Neville Hobson, Connected Internet, Solomon’s VOIP World, Bayens.net, Ton’s Interdependent Thoughts

  • http://www.legionofone.com Dewald Pretorius

    As a Twitter third-party developer (http://www.tweetlater.com) I must say that I’m appalled to learn that there’s not even-handed treatment of all developers. I will certainly not develop further Twitter add-ons until I know that I will get a fair shake of the deal.

    As far as Twitter saying to users to look for replies on Summize, someone wrote to me the other day, saying it’s like Twitter saying, “We’re a little busy, go see if you can crash the Summize servers.”

  • http://twitter.im Matt Terenzio

    In the wake of Identi.ca there is a flood of skepticism laced with a dash of hope.
    It is reasonable that Twitter might not lose its loyal core, but then again it is also reasonable that a smaller community could develop on Identi.ca and maintain itself.

    When Jabber was formed it did little to dent the IM silos that continue to thrive. But XMPP did not die either, and continues to be significant and grows in it’s multi-colored usage.

    Similarly, if a small, seemingly insignificant federation could form based upon the protocols that Identi.ca proposes it could be years from now that a major vendor in need of some market share decides to adopt those protocols in the way that Gtalk adopted XMPP.

    One could argue that GTalk did little to make waves in the existing IM silos. Yes, but I’d say it’s too early to tell. Is XMPP still gowing? Yes. Will OpenMicroblogging find its place. Maybe. Just not today.

  • http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/07/01/podcastWithTheGnipGuys.html Dave Winer

    Are you sure that FriendFeed isn’t hooked into Twitter through XMPP? I find my Twitter status messages show up on FF almost instantly. If they aren’t hooked in, they’re polling like mad (which I don’t think is the way they work).

    It’s good to see you guys picking up on this. It was the subject of my podcast with the Gnip guys yesterday. Very important that people understand this, though it’s exactly the kind of thing most users don’t want to know about.

  • http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/07/01/podcastWithTheGnipGuys.html Dave Winer

    For example, it took less than a minute for this twit to show up on FF.


    It’s *always* that fast. I don’t see how that could be polling, I think they’re getting the XMPP flow.

  • A Sad Developer

    I’m really happy you guys are covering this.

    I spent a LOT of time developing Twitter web apps and the XMPP public feed delivery was central to their function. But now unless you are on the special users list there is no way to get all public tweets (minus the 60/minute they give you through the API).

    It’s frustrating to just get locked out after spending so much time making stuff for Twitter users. For the community in general it sucks because, let’s be honest, half the reason Twitter is cool and interesting is because of all the random little Twitter sites that popped up. Now they are all foo bar.

    It makes me more sad than angry.

  • http://blog/stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    Whoa, that’s interesting! If I were a developer, I’d feel the same way the other developers have already said they do. As a user, I’d like to see it work. I went over to Identi.ca, found my friends, spent a nice evening, but it ain’t Twitter. And I don’t care what Robert says about FF, it ain’t Twitter either.

    Go Steve for revealing all of this! Thank God I was an English major and all I have to do is use these products.

  • http://feedusblog.com Rick

    Great post.

    The only thing that pisses me off is that we have to guess and do research about the issues. No one from Twitter bothers to update except via a crappy blog or occasional google groups. (btw, i setup tweetstatus that just retweets their blog rss feed).

    One of the founders tweets about his caribbean vacation but doesn’t bother to address the situation to the community via twitter.

    I’d have more faith if I knew more.

  • http://sull.outputs.it sull

    nice post.
    i’ve built one twitter app that does not rely on public_timline (tweetshots) but knowing about the architecture issues, the new/forthcoming API constraints and business is business… I have held back on new features/services using twitter until i see how this all plays out… which is quite interesting regardless of where you stand.

    Laconica has me excited since its an approach i support and will work on setting up a “federated” node like identi.ca to interop. i’ll do that on 140burst.com. should be interesting as a parallel evolution to twitter/friendfeed etc.

    real-time data… that’s the cake. and we all want the cake. once you know it and can get it, there’s no going back. human nature. especially in geek land. fastest chips, fastest cars, biggest tv, coolest phone etc. real-time ubiquitous internet communications…. a holy grail of sorts. and to compete, you can’t be happy with “old data” and random data (missing out on every post) which is what all 3rd party developers are able to get… the scraps. prob should be good enough for many, but of course it’s not ;)

    good stuff, steve.

  • http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures Michael Krigsman

    Thanks for covering what appears to be an arcane issue and explaining how in fact it’s of central importance.

  • http://friendfeed.com/scottanderson scott

    I was using track for a while before it was taken away. I did not see a lot of value relevant to my needs. I don’t really miss not having it. Why should I care? What do you want to track Steve?

  • Richard Emory

    Give developers an inch, and they want a mile. I think opening up any APIs was a big mistake. It brings a lot of crappy apps, complaints and headaches.

    Would a retail store give you the keys to their warehouse?

    Twitter has taken many millions of dollars in venture capital. How are they ever going to make money by giving away the store?

  • http://merged.till.klampaeckel.de/ till

    @scott: You can use “track” for many things – let’s say, someone references you in a tweet like, “Check out this link, http://foobar via @scott” – you won’t get that in replies, because to show up in replies, it would have to be start with “@scott”. I personally find it useful/interesting to see what people talk about if the mention “me”.

    Or say, I have a product and want to know if people talk about it on Twitter – another reason to use track. Yeah, I can do all of that via tweetscan etc., but why should I use four tools when I can use just one?

    Btw, I found this article to be very interesing. Let’s critize authors when there is a reason for it, and not just because it was hip last week. :)

  • http://merged.till.klampaeckel.de/ till

    Apologies for poor grammar, it’s late here. ;)

  • Steve Gillmor


    The point of this particular post was that Track is a unique and valuable property that is being managed carefully to preserve both user and developer allegiance. For me, Track represents a way of enabling conversations with the entire Twitter cloud, extending the relatively small Follow view into one where people can contact and be contacted by anyone based on common interests and issues as they arise. This in turn leads to opportunities for creating micro-communities that, in this next social buildout of the network, can have substantial economic and political power.

    In turn, developers can help manage and build out services for these communities that extend the power and stickiness of the originating platform. This is why the difficult task of remaining open enough to retain credibility is testing the skill of Twitter and its investors.

  • Steve Gillmor


    Interesting question. The little Twitter has said on this subject suggests the other subscribers are high-volume users of the XMPP stream, which certainly might include FriendFeed by process of elimination. It could also be explained by multiplexing multiple API requests that are staggered. Perhaps FriendFeed might be willing to answer the question, though they might be reluctant to rock an important boat right now. Let’s ask.

  • http://www.bandb.blogspot.com/ Richard Taylor

    Weird. TC has separate comments threads on this post in TC and TC IT. Maybe I do need to use FriendFeed to aggregate all my feeds and comments to one place.

    I just posted a comment in TC thread saying that Twitter does use polling to implement their XMPP feed. At least that is what their API specs say.

  • http://einarvollset.com Einar Vollset

    FF has to be sucking on XMPP in order to get 100% coverage. Damn it, I’m getting sick of this..

  • http://crowdstatus.com Darren

    this is why crowdstatus.com development is on hold.

    maybe they should charge for the pubsub access and seperate it out from the twitter system I.E. have the pubsub broadcast to outside twitter own servers and have them broadcast to the accounts that want it.

  • Fake Reggie Perrin

    What does this have to do with the crown jewels?

  • exapted

    SMS will die. I guess we are talking about this because we want to understand who will control the standards for the software services that run on twitter-like platforms. That will be the company that will have more influence on everything else and have a higher market value.

    After SMS dies (because everyone has smart-phones with always-on instant messaging softwares), will Twitter still have a lock on it’s users? That depends. Maybe they will continue to be the pipes for such systems for SMS input. Whether they will control what happens with the data after it gets onto such a system – that is the real question.

  • exapted

    Or you could conclude that Twitter just wishes to be an SMS gateway for the social web, until SMS is no longer used by anyone, in 2015 for example, at which point all of the services riding on it will each be independent, and Twitter itself will be like ICQ is today.

  • Aronski

    Now we’re getting to the meat of the tomato. As much as I have been one to spot the black helicopters in the distance, it usually comes down to money and control of the Mcguffin that makes it possible. I too has been wondering how Summize could be chugging along without some other pipe to feed them.

    In discussions about Track with others I have thought about the fact that if you gave any mook access to the realtime stream that you would not only be giving away the keys to the kingdom but a smart person could use the XMPP stream for less than social reasons. Here is a river of information, already public, already prone, that not only could be re-purposed but used to siphon value away from Twitter’s information currency. For large users of the API or XMPP, they can spot that right away. What about an individual who sets up a focused Track trap through something as simple as the XMPP/Jabber IM client, creating a huge document full of data stored for free in his Gmail box that he can sift through for whatever reason?

    I begin to wonder if when Track returns there will be controls not only for the services using the stream (business arrangements indeed!) but if there will be a limit on how many Track words an individual can use at one time without a premium or a throttle to prevent the Twitter servers from glowing Cherry Red…

    As rare as it is, the genie escaped the bottle for a time giving some of us a taste of what this torrent of information energy could do and then they closed the flume, coaxing the genie back behind their wall. Something as innocuous as a messaging system that people use to share what they’re stuffing in their mouths or how much they hate traffic has the potential to be many things for many people. Twitter has not handled the invasive growth of their service, the subsequent collapses and hobbled current operation with much grace or even initial acknowledgment of the effect on their addicted core users.They, silent, push the annoying junkies from their doorway as they head to the health food store for a lactose free beverage or off to the beach, knowing full well the hooks are set, the demand is there and all they need now is to shore of the banks of the river and start selling water rights.

    We as users are unfortunately getting used to being treated like criminals. We all love a deal and especially anything for free. We tend to hack and workaround things when they don’t do what we need them to do or when the provider holds them hostage. But we have a limit and tend to vote with our feet, even if it’s just to the other side of the street for a 2 year contract and then wander back, muttering about how things were over there.

    They have an opportunity here to build a relationship with their users to be the evangelists they need to go to the next level when they’ve restructured their system. I was discussing what I felt was so important about Twitter with a non-user yesterday and went to try to show him and of course, Twitter was completely pear shaped. Not a good chance for growth there…

    Man, they need to get their features squared away and this thing solid because if they don’t, someone else will. The current alternatives are not much to look at but someone else is coming. Enterprise will not stand for the flaky, just-out-of-rehab operation we’ve seen in the last 6 weeks. If they change their access to the stream for big and power users, so be it. It has to work. It wouldn’t be the first time a great idea was done better by someone other than the inventor.

  • A Sad Developer


    About the staggered API requests: Twitter caches the public_timeline api so the most you could get is 60 tweets / minute even if you checked it every second.

  • Gregg

    track is nice, but is it that important to the other 98% of twitter users that don’t care to see @myname in 10 seconds? An rss feed from summize with @myname gives me plenty of time to see and respond to someone who’s reply to me wasn’t formatted for reply. With google reader, i have an archive of those as well.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not pimping my name/latestcriticalopinion/website/company/idea/adsense and following 25,000 twitters that I don’t get it. How does anyone really have time to follow a gtalk track stream in realtime anyway? Oh..vc money I guess.

  • luke

    Time to introduce a new arconym.
    FTFT – fix the fucking twitter

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