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.

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