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, del.icio.us 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?