Google acquires Jaiku, goes mobile presence

Wow number two of the day: Google has acquired Jaiku, the European Twitter, an “activity stream and presence sharing service” for mobile phones and the web, all very location-aware if you want it to be.

Congrats to Jaiku’s founders, especially Finland’s Jyri Engeström, whom we had speak at Bloggforum back in 2005 (see pics). Even then he was already propounding the idea of social networks not being any good if they aren’t about something we can have in common, things which he called “objects of sociality”. Later, Facebook’s popularity would ride on that notion — I now spend most of my time on Facebook playing Scrabble with friends; others spend hours comparing movie tastes with each other.

Facebook’s mobile client for my phone is not unlike Twitter’s and Jaiku’s. This, I think, is the space Google wants to enter by acquiring Jaiku. If and when Google comes out with a more open version of a Facebook-like “presence-centric” web application, Jaiku will make the perfect mobile component of that.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the Google Earth layer that updates in real time, showing the locations of my friends and their most recent one-line message. (Thanks Daniel for the heads-up)

4 thoughts on “Google acquires Jaiku, goes mobile presence”

  1. No problem, Stefan. Whenever one thing is announced with Google (like Multiverse, for example) — I’ve noticed there’s usually a couple additional easter-egg announcements around.

    I just noticed Leo Leporte caught the info as well. Nothing even crossed the investment feeds, which didn’t really surprise me. Those people are usually relatively oblivious anyway, unless they’re being hand-fed.

  2. Some additional things of interest for Jaiku users, more specifically WordPress users.

    Machable’s Jaiku development list:

    Rick Measham’s Jaiku WordPress plugin:

    (Rick’s plug-in has an advanced category icon option, as well as location. — Location being the more interesting option to me.)

    Douglass Karr’s Jaiku plug-in for WordPress:

    (The more ‘user-friendly’ of the two — supports Cache [major plus!]. Also supports icon associations — but not with WordPress posts. Location doesn’t appear to be available.)

    So if you’re looking for some slick ‘tools’ to incorporate Jaiku into your life — those are some decent sources to start. I’m sure we’ll see Jaiku integrated more now that Google’s in the picture.

  3. Maybe your Jaiku mobile client is like the others, but I can tell you that the Nokia Jaiku app for Symbian S60 is different. Its celltagging trick, albeit simple, is a jewel.

    Once someone sends some jaiku, pic or presence indication with that ‘jaikued’ Nokia, and marks a city and neighboorhood for that point, all notes from other jaikued Nokias connected from the same celltower will be geolocated to that neighboorhood.

  4. Luistxo, agreed that that is a nifty trick — Yahoo’s Zonetag for Flickr is something similar.

    In general, I think Jaiku’s been more sophisticated and sustainable in its development initiatives than Twitter, while Facebook’s presence tools have no geolocation at all, though its API has made third-party initiatives possible. None, though, for their mobile client, though it has been possible to send Twitters and Jaikus to Facebook…

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