Google gobbling

Google’s acquisition of Jaiku came as a bit of a surprise to me.

Robert Scoble says it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, and that combined with Google’s other properties, this will all translate into some super Facebook-killing announcement next month.

The thing is, I’ve been a bit amazed by some of Google’s acquisitions. I can’t say that I see all of them as totally successful. Blogger in particular hasn’t seen much love, apart from a spruce-up earlier in the year when they finally started to catch up to WordPress (and WP has continued to jump forward since then). Picasa? Sorry, but IMO Flickr still wipes the floor with that… Yahoo! has been pretty clever about not pasting logos all over the site and has quietly and neatly integrated Flickr, Upcoming, and other properties. Continuing the Google theme: Jotspot, YouTube… not sure they are examples of sites or tools that have been well-integrated into the Google “family”.

As Mark Cathcart pointed out, this doesn’t mean that all of Google’s acquisitions have been unsuccessful. For instance, Google Earth (Keyhole) is superb, and has great integration with Maps, Panoramio, SketchUp etc.. Google Docs is great too, although I don’t personally use it.

So will the mighty new Googaiku kill Twitter? Personally, unless they do something startling as Scoble suggests, I don’t see why it should. My network is all on Twitter, and despite trying both Jaiku and Pownce, I’ve not been tempted away despite various the outages and wobbles Twitter has gone through. It is simple, multipurpose, and remarkably useful… I don’t know what the business model is, but I know that I like the tool.

The social software space remains extremely interesting. Times change. I wonder what’s next?

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4 thoughts on “Google gobbling”

  1. Hi Andy! Good post and certainly something I agree with to some extent. A bunch of folks asked me offline (Not in Twitter?!?!) whether I would be moving to Jaiku now that Google got them and my answer was, No, I am sticking with Twitter. More than anything else because of the community. Yes, Jaiku (& Pownce) are both better tools, feature wise, but they lack the sense of community I have with Twitter. And if anything, it clearly proves the point that Web 2.0 is all about the people and nothing to do with the technology. You go where your peeps are. Period.

    Oh, w.r.t. Picasa, I guess you are referring to Picasa Web Albums, to which agree, because as far as the software is concerned there is *nothing* coming closer to it, imo. Not even for the Mac (Still struggling to find that killer app. Picasa is…)

  2. Sorry – I fail to see how ‘delicious’ is any more integrated into Yahoo any more than YouTube is integrated to Google.

    To my eyes, both applications are largely unchanged since the acquisition.

    You praise Yahoo! for not plastering Yahoo! logos all over delicious but then criticise Google for not plastering Google logos all over YouTube.

    Writely has been completely subsumed and fully integrated into Google Docs and JotSpot is currently closed (to new users) while a similar process takes place.

  3. Hi Andy. Thanks for the comment. Fair points.

    I’m not sure I did criticise Google for logo-plastering… just highlighting how quietly Yahoo! has gone about some of the integrations. Actually it’s fair to say that remains a little separate from e.g. Flickr and Upcoming, although I heard rumours of a new version which I assume will see some changes.

    Writely / Google Docs would be one example of a Google acquisition I’m impressed by. Will follow what happens with JotSpot with interest.

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