Technology has made staying in touch with your friends and family both easier and harder: living a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle is easier (and a lot of fun), but it’s more difficult to keep track of everyone when they’re running around at warp speed. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’ve acquired Jaiku, a company that’s been hard at work developing useful and innovative applications for staying in touch with the people you care about most — regardless of whether you’re at a computer or on a mobile phone.
Although Google has been scooping up smaller web apps and tech startups like candy lately, this latest acquisition is curious insofar as they bought the smaller, Finland-based Jaiku service and not Twitter, which is considered the 800-lb. gorilla in the short-form publishing space (and is a relative of Blogger, which Google did buy, once upon a time).
I weighed Twitter vs. Jaiku back in March, and actually found Jaiku’s feature-set (mixing presence updates with lifestream aggregation) and possible practical applications to be more promising. But, since most people were on Twitter, Jaiku never really picked up the critical mass needed to have the huge ecosystem of presence updates and interconnected conversations that would’ve made it useful and fun on a daily basis.
Now that Jaiku is in the Google family, and open signups have been replaced by the reliable buzz-building gimmick of invitations, it may finally get the chance to show off its stuff. And hopefully, Jaiku will benefit from Google’s infrastructure and scaling expertise, limits that have vexed Twitter from day one.