Here’s some FAQ&A on the deal and its implications.
Q: Why not Twitter?
A: Google probably thinks Twitter is overvalued (at USD 20 million). It is likely that they spent lesser on the Jaiku deal. Twitter recently closed a USD 5 million second round. And it is in Europe (read: ahead of the US on mobile technology adoption).
Q: But Twitter has more users, is more popular?
A: Sure, but Jaiku is more than just a micro-blogging or lifestreaming platform. It is an intelligent presence detection application, with their smart address book feature. Google is acquiring technology again, they can generate the user numbers, I suppose.
Q: Where does this all fit in the BiG picture?
A: The New York Times reported yesterday that Google phone project is a mobile software project. So whether the Google offering competes with Microsoft (Windows Mobile) or Apple (iPhone) remains to be seen, but in the light of this, the Jaiku acquisition seems to make sense. A mobile software (platform, most likely) + mobile technology from Jaiku + mobile social network Zingku to promote it. All the right conditions for Google to continue to govern your life.
Q: Google, Social Networking? Remember Orkut, Dodgeball? Why will they take on Facebook and MySpace?
A: Because they are Google. Their social networking attempts have not taken off well – at least in the US – but there are rumors that there may be a third life (or should it be second, second life?) in the wings. Although Jaiku fits in nicely with their mobile strategy, its lifestreaming features is a ammunition for any Social Networking War (what an Oxymoron!) that it may be gearing up for.
Afterthought: MS should really buy that stake in Facebook.
What do you think?