Google-Jaiku: Twitter’s Value Just Soared

Almost every commentator who mentioned Google’s acquisition of Jaiku described Jaiku as “Twitter-like.”  So what does this acquisition mean for Twitter itself?

  1. “Status” space has now gone mainstream.
  2. Twitter is still by far the dominant brand (thus, Jaiku’s relegation to “Twitter-like” status).
  3. Twitter’s value just soared.  If Microsoft and Yahoo want to add Twitter functionality to their communication and publishing tools–which is now a competitive imperative–they can build this functionality themselves, or…buy Twitter.  The first option, by the way, has failed miserably in the past.  For example, Yahoo’s soft-phone VOIP service is nowhere compared to Skype (which is saying something, given that Skype isn’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball).
  4. Twitter’s competition just increased exponentially, so the company had better skedaddle.  There is a chance that Google’s implementation and promotion of Jaiku will bury Twitter.  This hasn’t happened often in the Internet industry–if the industry leader keeps running fast, it can usually hold off even the scariest competition (See Google’s acquisition of Blogger, for example)–but it could happen.

And what about Pownce?  Yes, its value just rose, too.  But the risk to Pownce from Google-Jaiku is far greater than it is for Twitter.  Unless Pownce is far larger than Jaiku and keeping pace with Twitter (anyone know?), Pownce’s lifespan can be measured in months.

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