Google Bought Jaiku To Give Twitter Leeway

Twitter is the happening success story that everyone is twittering about. The funny thing about Twitter’s market is how all of its competitors in the microblogging space just died: Google acquired Jaiku, to let it slowly die, and Pownce was bought like a t-shirt on a flee market by Six Apart. Pownce was not working all that well, despite the fact that it was launched by popular tech entrepreneur Kevin Rose. On the other hand, Jaiku was experiencing a nice growth curve, and creating quite some enthusiasm in the tech sphere. This could lead to believe this was the reason Google was interested in Jaiku. However, Google never seemed really interested to use Jaiku.

All those acquisitions benefited none other but Twitter. I think it is time to start asking ourselves: Did Google acquire Jaiku to make leeway for twitter?

A few points could confirm this theory:

  • First Pownce was never an interesting candidate as it missed the point of instant communications and live search features
  • Jaiku was a real risk, as popular tech figures like Leo Laporte were starting to openly declare their love for Jaiku
  • Twitter was going through a lot of down times, making early-adopters unsatisfied.
  • Twitter’s Founders sold Blogger to Google, which implies they are well-connected with the Mountain View company.

So why would Google back Twitter? For that famous feed that represents the first enactment of the live Web. Twitter knew where the Graal was, Google organized the crusade. Since the microblogging company is so interconnected with Google, it makes sense for the two companies to plot an aggressive market strategy together.

Also, one may wonder if Google is really interested to ever acquire Twitter. The Jaiku experience shows that when Google acquires a microblogging platform, it dies. As long as it is independent, its feed is golden, which is all the best for Google if they tap in it for the quality of their search experience.

So could we stipulate on the nature of the deal between Twitter and Google? I would assume that Google will have access to Twitter’s feed for a bargained price (compare to what Microsoft will have). This way, Twitter can remain independent by dealing with any company out there, but Google keeps kicking Microsoft’s ass by spending less on the same data.