Google Sets Jaiku Free

Jan 16, 2009

Google will close the microblog project Jaiku and publish the source code under an Apache license.

Acquired as recently as October 2007, Google and Jaiku will separate and the source code made public. It would seem that Google needs to tighten its belt: developers have been fired, subsidiaries closed and projects prematurely terminated. Or in the case of Jaiku, simply abandoned.

Originally intended to compete with Twitter and Identi.ca, the code will now be ported to the AppEngine Platform and Google will no longer officially take part in development. According to a press release, some Google developers have volunteered to support Jaiku, but many users are expected to quickly change to Twitter or Identi.ca. While Twitter is by far the most popular microblogging service currently available, Identi.ca, based on the open microblogging server Laconica, is catching up fast and with Control Yourself Inc, the company behind Ident.ca, having secured a six-figure investment, they look well positioned to withstand the credit crunch.

If the service survives, and where it's actually going remains to be seen. It's still unclear how microblogging can be used to make money. Twitter will present a business model this year, and Ident.ca hopes to generate revenue with individual implementation of the software in the commercial sector.

At the moment, the microblogger services do not have to worry about their popularity. Almost every global-political happening creates an article which underlines Twitter and Co.'s functionality and appeal as independent communication channels. As the German newspaper Spiegel states on its website: "thanks to Twitter, citizen- journalism is on the way."

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