For one reason or the other, Jaiku and Twitter have been compared a lot, probably due to people not having tried Jaiku’s mobile application. I think the winner of the battle for microblogging dominance was announced yesterday, as Google acquired Jaiku for non-disclosed amount.
I’m certain Google the due diligence on both companies and figured where the beef was. Having used both services, I think the reason Twitter’s been more popular is the free text messages. Incidentally I’ve had access to free texting also on Jaiku (knowing a founder helps) and when that’s turned on, Twitter just seems like a sorely lacking version of all the niceties Jaiku’s had.
Reading the congratulatory thread on Jyri’s announcement Jaiku is reveals half of the reason I think the deal happened. It’s the people who’ve jumped aboard and are using the service. Jaiku’s community features people like Randal L. Schwartz and Tim O’Reilly and at least to me, that’s a pretty powerful statement about the service.
Incidentally someone on the thread is wondering why the company wasn’t sold to Nokia. If I had to guess, I think Nokia wasn’t interested in purchasing Jaiku, or if they were, offered much less than Google. Looking at Google’s acquisition history, they know how to value communities. Looking at what Nokia is doing, they’re still in the level of thinking they can just clone up technology and the community will happen, similar to the recent comments from Steve Ballmer. Of course, I hope I’m wrong and that there was a bloody battle which lead to Jyri getting a bigger wad of dough. :)