There’s somebuzz on how Google might feel threatened by Twitter, because of the microblogging service’s search functionality. John Battelle makes the argument, putting Twitter in the same sentence as YouTube and points out that the latter has more search queries than Yahoo.
What’s the most important and quickly growing form of search on the web today? Real time, conversational search. And who’s the YouTube of real time search? Yep. Twitter. It’s an asset Google cannot afford to not own, and also, one they most likely do not have the ability (or brand permission) to build on their own. (Remember, Google tried to build its own YouTube – Google Video – and it failed to get traction. A service like Twitter is community driven, and Google has never been really great at that part of the media business).
True. However, I’m wondering how well the reasoning fares here. Google did buy Jaiku, just to let it go after doing more or less nothing to it, other than crippling the development and effectually destroying the, in some ways superior, service’s chances to compete with Twitter. So why didn’t they give Jaiku a serious shot then? read more
Google have decided to open source the Jaiku Engine and release it under the Apache license on Google Code. The actual Jaiku service won’t close, but neither is Google supporting it. Instead, the service will live on thanks to volunteers. Or, in the words of Vic Gundotra, VP of Engineering:
As we mentioned last April, we are in the process of porting Jaiku over to Google App Engine. After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License. While Google will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase, the service itself will live on thanks to a dedicated and passionate volunteer team of Googlers.
Jaiku’s Jyri stresses that this isn’t necessarily the end of Jaiku, and that doom-mongerers should wait and see what’ll happen with the site. This in a comment to the announcement on the Jaikido Blog:
While the future is uncertain (it always is), it’s also worth noting that the Jaiku that exists today was developed by independent people who were brought together by an interest to create a cool tool for sharing presence and conversation.
I haven’t read or seen anything that would point to Jaiku, the Finnish microblogging service that Google bought, suddenly growing like crazy, but maybe I’ve just missed it. Anyway, the servers have been down for almost 30 minutes now, alternating with “the server’s are too busy” messages, and the not so pretty “502 Bad Gateway” error. Most likely they’ll be back up soon.
Either way, is this as sign of things to come? If Jaiku should take off, would that mean that they’d go through the same downtime period as Twitter did? They really shouldn’t have to, especially if they would get integrated in the Google App engine as has been reported previously, although that one’s been under some fire recently as well.
All that aside, fact remains. Jaiku is still down, and we’re yet to see it become a serious threat to Twitter.
It is not a good day for microblogging services. Twitter is apparently not delivering all the tweets it should, which certainly is a bad thing, especially if you’re spending money sending them:
Many people are still missing updates from those they are following. We’re working to make sure you get all the content you should be.
They’re also experiencing a cache issue which might mean that people are getting the wrong profile page sometimes. Nothing’s lost, and they’re working on it.
Meanwhile, Jaiku spits out broken images and 503 service temporarily unavailable errors everywhere.
As I said, it’s not a good day for microblogging services, nor for people who actually pay money to send messages to them. This is of course not refundable in any way, and certainly points to one of the issues with these services. Have you send text messages to Twitter or Jaiku today, and not had them published? Let us know in the comments.
The latest version (0.8.6) of Twhirl, the popular Adobe AIR based microblogging application, adds support for generic Laconica installations. While that’s probably something of a “the what now?” moment for most of us, laconi.ca could be very big. Basically, it is an open source microblogging server software solution, currently out in 0.5 if I’m not mistaken. With it, we could possibly see lots and lots of Twitter lookalikes, probably more niched though.
Twhirl is just the latest in several applications and services who has added Laconica support, but probably on of the biggest. Among the supporters are web apps HelloTxt and Ping.fm, Mac app Twitterific, as well as a bunch of scripts that developers can incorporate in their applications. An up to date list is available in the Laconica trac.
I’m following Laconica with interest myself, especially since Twitter submitted API stuff to it, giving it the credence needed to be taken seriously, perhaps. It’ll be interesting to see how this server app evolves, since it might be something that’ll stand head on with Google’s upcoming microblogging business solutions powered by Jaiku.
Jaiku is down right now, but it might be a good thing that it is. Jaiku Invites blog reports that Google is moving the microblogging service that could have been a serious Twitter contender to the Google Apps cloud setup. This could mean a number of thing, one being that we’ll soon be able to get internal Jaiku-ish communication within Google Apps, but the most prominent result of this should be better uptime.
It is my opinion that Jaiku could’ve taken its share of users from Twitter, as well as given other social web sites and app a run for its money, with its very lifestreamish take on microblogging. However, the site never got the push it needed, and it feel marginalized to me. Fun fact though: In Sweden, where I live, Jaiku is the microblogging site.