Google snubs Twitter, snags Jaiku

October 9, 2007

Google snubs Twitter, snags Jaiku Twitter users are in a tizzy today, wondering why Google purchased their smaller rival Jaiku instead of their twitteriffic home.

For those who don’t know Twitter or Jaiku, imagine a networking site that’s only status messages and a friends list. You can send/receive messages with your mobile so you never ever have to be out of touch.  For those of you who don’t know Google, this thing you’re using is called a computer and you should probably get someone to help you.

Many were surprised that Google purchased the smaller Finnish "lifestreaming" service (note: no web phenomenon is complete until somebody makes up a word for it).  It’s been the subject of a massive blogstorm (another made-up word), with all and sundry wondering why they didn’t buy Twitter instead.  Here we look at five of the top suggested reasons:

1.  Jaiku was cheaper than Twitter
Hahahahah.  Have you even heard of Google?  They’re huge.  That’s like saying Tom Cruise has to shop around for cheaper crazy religious cults.

2. Google didn’t want to deal with an established name, preferring a smaller service they could mold freely
Hahahahaha.  See #1

3.  Google wanted a smaller company they could control better
This is not traditionally a problem Google have had.  Buying companies they didn’t do anything with, yes, but problems with control, no.

4. Jaiku is a cooler sounding word
A name like Jaiku
Sounds cool and has potential
To write some haiku

5. Jaiku has better technology
This one is true. Jaiku is known for it’s more sophisticated platform including proper web-style reply options. Unlike Twitter, who adopted an "@reply" notation that their users developed for them.

Jaiku has already gone into private invitation-only mode to defend itself from the surge of Google-fanatics. You may remember a previous little thing called ‘gmail’ that did the same.

The fact is that if google can realize one tenth of the potential of a lifestreaming service connected to the rest of the google world, it will be the absolute best of its kind.  Potential features like searchable chat histories, map locations of conversations, connection with gtalk, not to mention their experience with scaling products for a large userbase (and the problems involved).

One thing is clear: you can turn off your desktop and smash your portable, but as long as you’re in range of a cellphone mast you can’t escape google.

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