Google Buys Jaiku


[qi:012] Breaking: Google (GOOG) has bought Jaiku, a Finland-based mobile IM and presence company. The news just broke, where else, but on Jaiku. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The details of the deal are on the Jaiku blog, and the company has put up FAQ for current users. This is indeed good news for the small Jaiku team, and another piece of the Google Phone Puzzle.

Activity streams and mobile presence are important areas where we believe Google can add a lot of value for users. Jaiku’s technology and talented team are a great addition to Google’s current application and mobile teams

At first glance, this is an excellent acquisition on the part of Google. OK, time for me to sit down and start making sense of all the Google acquisitions in the mobile and VoIP space.

Our previous Jaiku stories



Critically however GOOG have yet to make investments in mobile enabled technologies. Having Presence and VoIP is one thing, however making presence and VoIP work across mobile networks, even the much vaunted UMTS, is a SERIOUSLY challenging thing to do because of network characteristics. It represents GOOG’s last mile possibly ?


google has wasted money on jaiku. nothing came of it.

Phil Barrett

Good article & insight in the comments. Google is indeed gearing up to be everywhere mobile and this is one piece of the puzzle. I’ve just blogged about this ( – but my theory is that they are arming up with acquisitions to keep pace with Nokia – the only other company moving as fast as Google in this space right now

Chuka Eze

Thats great to hear. Probably what Google wished would had become. Congrats to the jaiku guys!

Lately, Google has been very aggressive about acquisitions in mobile space. Could be because of focus on Asia, India and China which are the fastest growing mobile markets.

Alexander van Elsas

Lets see:
1. Google’s Orkut gets loads of traffic
2. With Jaiku they add prescence, mobile and mobile RSS into their social networks
3. Google has a unique RSS position with Google reader, Feedburner and now mobile RSS (Jaiku)
4. Google will attack Microsoft mobile with their G Phone platform
5. Google is building up strength in Asia, the fastest grouwing market for both Internet and (payed) mobile services
6. Google is rumored to work on a Google PC (according to Engadget)
7.Google has a firm grip on video, maps, well, essentially all kinds of data
8. Google can integrate Orkut, Gmail, RSS, Jaiku, provide open API’s and deliver a much more open social networking service than Facebook ever will be able to
9. oh yeah, did I mention that they are pretty good at search and advertisement?

So lets face it. Google is going to hit Microsoft really hard with a new social operating system called “Google Everywhere”.


Yet another acquisition by goog. For such cash and investor credibility have no problem for goog. I have doubt that goog are on yahoo way. Many products and unfocused users. They start about one or two absolutely new product a day and only they only know how many buys of new companies.
A little danger strategy

Shai Berger

“…time for me to sit down and start making sense of all the Google acquisitions in the mobile and VoIP space…”

I think what’s driving their thinking is… “what improvements can we make to the phone experience without cooperation from the carriers.”

They’ve learned from the Apple-AT&T arrangement (especially given the Google-Apple connection at board level). The lesson is that carrier integration is messy and takes a long time. (And it doesn’t get less messy after you launch.)

Google will still be making carrier deals for the GPhone but they want to make sure they don’t need the carriers off the bat. The ideal situation for the Google Phone is that it’s great on its own, but AWESOME with carrier integration.

So… from GrandCentral they get inbound call management (routing and filtering). DIDs can be handed out to users without any carrier assistance.

From Jaiku and Zingku they get mobile messaging and presence apps that work well “off-deck” – i.e. no carrier assistance.

Also from those two, they get teams that are good at the nuances of designing mobile UIs that people like. (It isn’t easy.)

Next they need to buy Soonr for mobile-desktop integration.

Then they need to buy FonCloud for smarter outbound calling. Of course, we have to launch it first :-).

  • Shai

Clay Newton

Wow, this is a very exciting development. I am looking forward to the potential integration points across the GOOG portfolio. A number of synergies immediately come to mind.

Even more exciting, though, is what this means for this mode of communication. My only complaint is that I have been a dedicated Twitter user. Maybe time to switch platforms?

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