Jaiku bought by Google

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BREAKING NEWS: Jaiku, the Twitter-like service from Finland, has been bought by Google.

Jaiku Founders Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen today posted this on their homepage:

“While it’s too soon to comment on specific plans, we look forward to working with our new friends at Google over the coming months to expand in ways we hope you’ll find interesting and useful. Our engineers are excited to be working together and enthusiastic developers lead to great innovation. We look forward to accomplishing great things together. In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now. But fear not, all our Jaiku services will stay running the way you are used to and you will be able to invite your friends to Jaiku.”

The terms of the acquisition have not been released.

This is a fascinating move by Google which would have looked at Twitter prior to this acquisition, and Twitter’s recent $5 million series A funding last July.

The Finland-based SMS and microblogging service has long been regarded by aficionados as the better service in that it has a fairly sophisticated mobile application for the Symbian/Nokia platform, and allows more web-like commenting on its blogs, as opposed to Twitter’s more simplistic “@” replies. Jaiku’s client application for the Nokia S60 can be used to replace the Contacts program and enables automatic broadcast of your presence based on your availability and profile. You can also update your Jaiku page via the app respond to your Jaiku friends posts.

There will be inevitable comparison’s with Google’s acquisition of Dodgeball, which largely came to nothing, but it would appear that the time for social networking and blogging via mobile has come, and Google’s ability to add scale and marketing muscle to Jaiku should be putting Twitter on the back-foot right now. In addition, Jaiku – and in particular Jyri Engeström’s previous experience as a senior at Nokia – is going to help Google with its gPhone project.

A further statement clearly coming from Google read: “Activity streams and mobile presence are important areas where we believe Google can add a lot of value for users. Jaiku’s technology and talented team are a great addition to Google’s current application and mobile teams.”

It went on to say: “We are excited to welcome the Jaiku employees into Google. While it’s too soon to comment on specific products and development plans, we’ll be working with the Jaiku team over the coming months to expand their technology in ways we hope you’ll find interesting and useful.”

Jaiku will continue to support its existing user base but new user registrations have been closed, though some beta users will still be able to get an invite.

Jaiku was founded in February, 2006, one month before Twitter, and launched a service that July.

  • http://s4xton.com/ Aaron

    Maybe they’ll starve development on it like they did with Dodgeball.

  • http://twitter.com/jo_mangee jo_mangee

    Will this mean the death of twitter? ;)

  • http://experiencematters.criticalmass.com/2007/10/08/streams-of-influence/ Streams of Influence at Experience Matters

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    […] More coverage on TechCrunch UK. […]

  • http://bowblog.com Steve Bowbrick

    Fascinating. I would generally discount the purist talk about Jaiku’s extra elegance, completeness etc. There’s lots of evidence that customer choice has hardly anything to do with these factors. Jaiku is hyper-finished, kind of aseptic. And the freight of extra features won’t translate into popular success. Having said that, it is really cool and plugging it into gmail, gtalk etc. really makes sense so I guess it’ll be massive.

    BTW, another site I use and like but which seems to have disappeared into the Googleplex is Jot.com. What’s going on there?

  • http://www.zweinull.cc/google-kauft-twitter-konkurrent-jaiku/ Google kauft Twitter-Konkurrent Jaiku » Beitrag » zweinull.cc

    […] erwirbt den aus Finnland stammenden Twitter-Konkurrenten Jaiku. Das berichtet TechCrunch. Über die Kaufsumme wurde nichts bekannt. Folgendes Statement der beiden Jaiku-Gründer findet […]

  • http://TechCastAddict.com Darren Stuart

    Maybe this has something to do with the team over at Twitter. Haven’t most of them been through the googleplex on previous startups and therefore no value to google.

    so whos gonna buy twitter? can we through facebook into the mix :P

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    […] Update: More coverage over TechCrunch and TechCrunch UK. […]

  • http://www.stylemo.com Dino

    Jaiku was founded in February, 2006, one month before Twitter, and launched a service that July.

    I didn’t know Jaiku came first. Why did Google chose Jaiku? What’s gonna happen to Twitter now?

  • http://www.mobilewebtablet.com/?p=64 The Mobile Web Tablet » Google Acquires Jaiku - GPhone puzzle soon complete?

    […] Updated: Techcrunch UK has more. […]

  • http://twopointouch.com/2007/10/08/integrating-twitter-and-jaiku/ twopointouch : Integrating Twitter and Jaiku

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  • http://blog.milandinic.com/ Milan Dinić

    What’s gonna happen to Twitter now?

    They’ll be bought by Yahoo! or Microsoft ;)

  • http://www.lindqvist.com/b/google-koper-microbloggtjansten-jaiku Google köper microbloggtjänsten Jaiku

    […] TechCrunch […]

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

    “This is a fascinating move by Google which would have looked at Twitter prior to this acquisition, and Twitter’s recent $5 million series A funding last July.”

    That’s a pretty big assumption in my books, care too go more in-depth Mike?

  • http://cyberpearl.blogspot.com Himanshu

    I am sure Google will add lot more to the current features. Looking forward for that.

  • http://webtopmania.blogspot.com Guillaume

    Though I understand that google wants to get nearer Nokia, a world-class mobile phones manufacturer, I don’t believe that it will refrain people from using Twitter.
    Twitter does one thing and does it well.
    FriendFeed does this other thing (called lifestreaming by Jeremy Keith) and does it well.
    Jaiku does both. That may be a bit confusing for some users. Personally I use Twitter for shout-outs and FriendFeed for lifestreaming. Jaiku kinda does both and I don’t know how I feel about that.
    I guess that while I don’t get cheaper mobile internet access I won’t enjoy Jaiku’s mobile client.

  • http://www.chittr.com SharpDee

    Jaiku will become “G”aiku anyway now. Google gets a good gPhone with a new service + GrandCentral’s VoIP solution. With the phone and gOS becoming powerful, google gets a foot in the door.

    Used Nokia people from Jaiku to counter Symbian, i would say.

    try us out at http://www.chittr.com – powering live conversations – The indian way

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  • http://visible.mobi visible.mobi

    Google is being very aggresive in mobile space.

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    […] week. He seemed quite calm but I bet he was just bursting to shout about all this! Read more at Techcrunch, New York Times, Mashable and the official announcements from Google and Jaiku.Popularity: 11% […]

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    […] week. He seemed quite calm but I bet he was just bursting to shout about all this! Read more at Techcrunch, New York Times, Mashable and the official announcements from Google and Jaiku. Bookmark […]

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    […] which at one point threatened Twitter to become the pre-eminent micro blogging tool because Google bought it – has now moved to a Google data center in preparation for its “transition” to the […]

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