Will Google Dodgeball Jaiku?

Jaiku logo

Hugh MacLeod over on gapingvoid just posted the news that Google has bought Jaiku.

Here’s a quick description of the Jaiku product from their site:
Jaiku is an activity stream and presence sharing service that works from the Web and mobile phones.”

And here’s a description of Dodgeball: Dodgeball is an SMS tool that lets you tell your friends when you are out doing something social so they can come join you.”

Not much difference between the two if you ask me – presence, activity and communication on mobile devices is where both services collide. It’s a relatively small step to migrate from SMS to IM or Web or vice versa, so why buy what you already have?

In April, after two years of frustration and little support from Google the founders of Dodgeball chose to leave Google.

So how does this all add up? I’ve got a ton of questions to pose at this non-sequitur:
Are Google going to sideline Jaiku too?
Did they buy Jaiku simply to keep it out of Nokia’s hands?
Have Google realised their Dodgeball mistake and want to try again?
Does Google really have a solid mobile strategy or are they grasping at straws to maintain their advertising lead?
Can they combine the two products into something new and special?
Are they simply interested in owning the companies’ user bases, and using that to form a comprehensive database of early-adopters?

It simply doesn’t quite make business sense, and makes Google look a bit desperate. Yes, it is great news for Jaiku, but does this mean that the time has arrived for the Jaiku guys to start thinking about their next startup?

In time I guess we will see.

Technorati Tags: jaiku, google, dodgeball, mobile, presence, communcation, nokia, advertising

Leave a Reply