News is breaking that the Twitter competitor Jaiku has been snapped up by Google. How cool! the story is starting to spread but we're not told how much Jaiku's gone for. What I think is so good about this deal is it shows what kind of a future might lie in store for this microchunked form of snippet-blogging or lifestreaming and microblogging or open IM / SMS whatever you choose to call it. Anyone who reads the stuff I ramble about knows I'm a big fan. And Jaiku's boss Jyri is a smart cookie and has done some cool presentations on the role of social media as a communications tool. I thinks it's ace that Google now has a app that does this to sit alongside its wiki, blog, reader and all the rest.
I've been on Jaiku about as long as I've been on Twitter. As a PR person I've found both of them massively useful as a networking tool. You a see news break before the papers get it a lot of the time.
The big difference between the two is that Twitter is more open at the reader end where Jaiku is more open at the end where the user sits.
For example you can plug updates from any web feed into Jaiku and it turns them into one message stream. Perfect if you have a buddy list and you want to share your pics (I feed flickr into it), events (upcoming.org), music (maybe last.fm), links from del.icio.us, stuff from Twitter and even your Facebook status updates. It's not possible to do this with Twitter without faffing around with glitchy hacks and third party apps. But Twitter's open ended feeds at the front plug into my IM when Jaiku doesn't, so I found it more useful as a messaging tool and went for Twitter over Jaiku. Relevance-wise, more of my network was on Twitter too, which is the most important than functionality to me at the end of the day.
But I think this is why Google went for Jaiku over Twitter. All the Google apps can work more easily with it at the back end, the Googlejuice will work its wonders on the relevance, network and front end. Marriage made in heaven!