Exciting news: Google has bought Jaiku today.
What does that mean? First and foremost, we’re of course continuing to support our existing users. So fear not: your Jaiku phone, the Web site, IM, SMS, and API will continue to work normally.
That said, new user sign-ups have been limited for the time being. The idea here is to enable our team to get right to work with Google’s engineers on delivering a new, better service to you as quickly as we can instead of spending our efforts on optimizing the current back-end. Existing users will still be able to invite their friends, and those who are not yet on Jaiku can send us a request for an invitation to join.
Jaiku is a presence sharing service that shares activity information via the web and mobile phones. I can, for example using SMS, a web app on my Blackberry, or the Jaiku website.
What I have liked about Jaiku is that they expanded the platform with features like replies pretty early on. They also allow you to dress up your messages with icons, and have allowed you to aggregate other feeds so people could basically stay in touch with you. Jaiku is flexible and offers more features for more types of users without actually cluttering up the interface or impeding usability. That's a bit of elegance that seems to have eluded Twitter. Just this week I was enjoying Jaiku and at the same time wondering how they intended to make money with it. My curiosity was borne out of the fact that I like the service and was afraid it might go away if they didn't come up with a revenue stream. The Google purchase lets me know that they figured out how to make money and that both parties intend for the service to last longer than a fad.