Will Google use Jaiku to kill Twitter?

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I’ve been thinking about what happened to Jaiku lately and making some enquiries. It’s amazing to think that last year people were talking about Jaiku and Twitter in the same breath. Today Jaiku feels almost invisible. But threading the information I’ve been drawing together now suggests that Google will use Jaiku’s early, ground-breaking features, to kill off Twitter. Here’s how…

Founded in July 2006 by Jyri Engestrom and Petteri Kopponen, Jaiku is a micro-blogging and social networking site which was acquired by Google last year. After that we heard very little. Most presumed it had been quitely forgotten by Google.

However, we already know from their blog that Jaiku is porting itself to the Google Appe engine. That was announced in April. Then in May Jaiku said it was “making progress” and they “DO have plans for future development”.

In fact, Jaiku co-founder, Jyri Engeström, is on record as saying they are embedding Jaiku “presence” into Google’s services. Indeed, “The Google App Engine enables applications to leverage powerful Google technologies and scale up to millions of users without infrastructure headaches.” That suggests Jaiku is far from dead, and is poised to be offered to Google users in their millions.

Now, from the information I’m getting, it seems Jaiku is about to be re-born inside Google as a Twitter killer, along with FriendFeed features like threaded conversations, public and private messaging and Groups.

The Google product – which may or may not be called ‘Friend Finder’ – will be a mashup between Gmail and Jaiku to give presence (location, status etc) to your contacts. Jaiku already had an S60 application with a feature where by you can see where your friends are. Plus it has an SMS service in Europe. Adding other SMS gateways more countries would be trivial, and really power the service ahead in SMS-obsessed European countries.

This appears to be the logical progression for Jaiku: Twitter-killer incarnate.

  • http://blog.lookery.com Scott Rafer

    Given the wasted Dodgeball opportunity, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • http://www.watzatsong.com Raphael

    That added that Google also has Gtalk installed on millions of computers to accelerate distribution (GTalk could easily embed “Twhirl like” capabilities)…

  • http://www.pestaola.gr Titanas

    That makes sense, plus the addition of Lively just fits. Micro blogging, Gtalk, 3D personas all within the browser from Google

  • http://twitter.com/redsontour Anthony Beal

    “it seems Jaiku is about to be re-born inside Google as a Twitter killer, along with FriendFeed features like threaded conversations, public and private messaging and Groups” Isn’t the beauty of Twitter its simplicity? Therefore the Google service with all its bells and whistles would miss the point.

  • http://blog.chameleonpr.com/2008/07/tech-news-links-140708/ chamtech » Blog Archive » Tech news links 14/07/08 - technology news, comment and views

    […] Will Google use Jaiku to kill Twitter, from TechCrunch UK – if it works for more than one million users then very likely! […]

  • http://buzzpal.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/pictures-copenhagen-reboot-10-flash-party/ chrisco

    Very interesting (and cool). I saw Jyri give a great talk at Reboot in Copenhagen last month… jetlag aside, he seemed pretty energized. He definitely had his party hat on at the Flash Party the developed Friday night. The link to my website is my Reboot blog posting and photos, including of his talk and then a vector of him at the after party (in the white hoodie).

  • http://terrainnova.org Dimitris

    Thanks for the insights Mike!

    However, i think twitter can still survive a jaiku-google competitor because:

    1. as previously mentioned most likely google will offer different features and users will pick what suits them and

    2. twitter will probably win simplicity-wise.

    3. the twitter community will have some inertia in moving to another network which will buy twitter time to finish solving its scaling issues.

    all in all, its pownce that should worry more i think.

  • http://manoel.eti.br/blog/2008/07/14/novo-jaiku-podera-enfrentar-twitter-e-friendfeed/ Novo Jaiku poderá enfrentar Twitter e FriendFeed | Manoel Franklin

    […] informações do blog TechCrunch UK, o Google pode estar desenvolvendo de forma silenciosa uma nova versão do Jaiku que poderá […]

  • http://buzzpal.wordpress.com chrisco

    RE Dimitris’ comment. Jaiku is to Twitter as Gmail was to Hotmail. Could easily happen. Google will have the uptime. And they have the distribution to bring the concept to the masses. To me, that’s a pretty likely scenario. I wonder if Twitter’s most recent round of investors thought of that. Oops.

  • http://blog.spinvox.com James Whatley

    Regular Jaiku users and fans/friends of Jyri’s have ‘known’ about this for AGES!


  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    James Whatley – In which case you’re clearly an insider. Thanks for confirming the story then.

  • http://builtbydave.co.uk David Stone

    Mike, you might be interested in my blog post from a while back:

    Didn’t realize folks thought Jaiku was dead.. I thought they were pretty public about still working on things.. maybe I missed the “NDA”?

  • http://aytugakdogan.wordpress.com aytug akdogan ödüllü 1. seo yarışması ve yurtta barış dünyada barış

    Google can beat Twitter easily with its power,and this issue is not regarded as a problem..

  • http://www.loudervoice.com/ Conor O'Neill

    Ehhhhhhh “with FriendFeed features like threaded conversations, public and private messaging and Groups.”.

    Threads been there since day 1, groups added a bit before the Google acquisition.

    Jaiku’s problem has never been features, it’s been growing the userbase. At this point, unless it is somehow offered to all GTalk users or is a pre-install on Android, sadly it’ll have the same global success as Orkut.

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Conor O’Neill – Yeah, I know Jaiku had these functions before, but, yes I should have mentioned it. But this is my point – it’s almost certain to be offered to Gtalk users and appear in Android. Whether they will keep the name though, I doubt.

  • http://rpcutts.co.uk Rich

    It’s taken far to long to make this happen. I get the impression that it’s not been given the attention it deserves by google but even if it is I don’t hold much hope for the end product.

    I’m a fan of a lot of googles stuff, obviously the search is great and gmail I love. Some of there other products though are executed terribly. Picasa Web Albums, Orkut, Froogle, Checkout… even Google Docs isn’t too hot when you stand it next to Zoho.

    If google pile on the features it’s creeping towards facebook/myspace territory and I think that is where the mainstream will always be… at least for a long time. I don’t think there will ever be truly mainstream simple microblogging in the form of twitter and jaiku. I think twitter has done well to get this far. (especially when you consider that facebooks new interface will be treading on twitter and friendfeeds toes considerably when it arrives)

    The microblogging service that excites me the most is Laconica. You yourself must have seen how quickly new features have been arriving at identi.ca. I think this will be able to fill the void left when Google finally swallows Jaiku. I’m not for a second suggesting it can kill twitter, or even scratch it but I think that is where the Jaiku community will go when the time comes. I know that’s where I’ll be.

  • Steve

    Yeah, the same way Google used Orkut to kill MySpace (not…)

  • http://plasticsnow.blogspot.com Kat

    Whatever they do with it, I really hope they don’t re-name it as “friend” anything! Companies need to realise that IT departments often block URLs with words like “friend” & “mail” in them which prevents users from accessing them from the office.

    I barely use Friendfeed for that exact reason, I can’t use it in the office so I’d rather make use of services such as Jaiku which I can, and then I forget to use the others when I am out of the office becuase there’s no need!

  • Jason Brooks

    Speaking about ‘whatever happened to? not baby Jane, we all know about her last ice-cream! But that little Parakey purchase by Facebook back on the 20th July 2007. Most importantly Blake Ross & Joe Hewitt are they still there?, Is their Web O/S still in development?? Would love to get a Butchers on that..

  • http://www.cheeze.com/blog/20083007/micro-blogging-when-does-a-trickle-become-a-flood/ Micro-blogging: When Does A Trickle Become A Flood? | Cheeze Blog

    […] Maybe not, according to Techcrunch, who see the Google acquisition of Jaiku as a stealth “Twitter-killer“. Confused as to the value of all this? You should be. Everyone […]

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com/2008/08/28/jaiku-starts-to-re-emerge-opens-unlimited-invites/ TechCrunch UK » Blog Archive » Jaiku starts to re-emerge, opens unlimited invites

    […] Jaiku looks like it will become another app in Google’s armoury, and possibly one which could seriously affect Twitter. However, it’s darn well taking its time… CrunchBase Information Jaiku Information […]

  • http://thenextweb.org/2008/10/10/friday-flashbacks-where-do-seesmic-jaiku-and-mozilla-mobile-stand-now/ Friday Flashbacks: where do Seesmic, Jaiku and Mozilla Mobile stand now?

    […] about it.  As far as I’m concerned, Jaiku fell off the grid and unless Google has some major plans with it, I suspect it won’t make any headlines […]

  • http://www.globalsecuritychallenge.com cyberfanatic

    This would NEVA happen. Dream on!

  • http://www.besthandbags2011.com/gucci-bags-for-man-wholesale-941-c-62.html gucci bags for man

    Yeah, the same way Google used Orkut to kill MySpace (not…)

  • http://socialmediamagic.com/blog/google-launched-secret-attack-twitter/ Has Google Launched a Secret Attack on Twitter? | Social Media Magic | Optimized Marketing Strategies and Services

    […] that Google was about to launch. Before that the supposed killer was going to be Jaiku – remember […]

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