Now that Jaiku is part of Google, for many observers the question is why Jaiku, not Twitter? Scoble sees it as part of Google’s social networking arsenal, and predicts Orkut 2.0 to be a Facebook killer.
Jaiku isn’t a “lifestreaming” company per se. They are a mobile company in the business of creating smarter presence applications. Far from being a runner up behind twitter, they are a leader in a category most people haven’t fully grasped yet. Google is clearly thinking a lot about mobile, and so they do grasp it.
My only question is why Google had to apply it’s standard process of freezing newly acquired applications, like they did with Writely, JotSpot..etc? (Existing users can continue Jaiku-ing, but new signups are on hold.)
I admit I don’t use Jaiku, or Twitter, for that matter, but even I get the importance of the networking effect. Google can sit on JotSpot all they want, release it in 2010, it will still be a good wiki, new users will come. It’s used by a well-defined, typically small group, and Writely was a personal productivity tool – neither depended on the network effect. But as soon as Jaiku users can not interact with new friends-of-their-friends, they will defect to the service that still accepts new members: Twitter.
Related posts: TechCrunch, mathewingram.com/work, Ross Mayfield’s Weblog, blognation, Search Engine Land, jkOnTheRun, This is going to be BIG., Google Blogoscoped, CenterNetworks, Between the Lines, bub.blicio.us, Innovation Creators.
Update: Dodgeball? Jotspot? Jaiku! by Robert Scoble.