It's back - yes it is. Jaiku has arisen from the depths of Google and is now offering unlimited invites to all. Google acquired the microblogging service back in the October of last year and we've heard very little about it since then. Perhaps now that school is back in, Google sees an opportunity to grab a market away from Twitter.
The doors to Jaiku were closed to new registrants as soon as Google picked up the microblogging service. Apparently they spent most of their time since then integrating with Google's technology stack and most recently, moving to the Google Apps Engine.
Now they are back in the saddle, doors swung open, offering unlimited invites to anyone interested in joining the party.
The question everyone seems to be asking is "is it too late"? Is it too late to be truly competitive with the likes of Twitter who basically owns this market today? Even with all the ups and downs Twitter is having, people have made an investment in the service and it's not clear that Jaiku has anything new or unique to offer that would encourage anyone to move.
The Jaiku Tour
You can take a tour of Jaiku while waiting for your invitation request to be accepted. It's not much of a tour, but it does give you an idea of what's in store.
Setting up your activity streams seems basic: post new jaikus, add icons, customize your view by changing your background, adding web feeds, setting your location. You can even put a Jaiku badge on your blog. Activity Streams
Adding Contacts and Receiving Updates
Once you have your activity stream created you can start adding contacts, receiving updates from those contacts and adding comments. Contacts and Updates
Jaiku for the Phone
No microblogging service is complete without phone access -- whether it's via text messaging updates or downloading Jaiku directly to your smartphone. Jaiku on the Phone
Follow a Jaiku Channel
Channels are an interesting concept. You create a channel and multiple people can post to that activity stream. You can't see it in your personal activity stream, you have to subscribe to the channel to get all the latest, but it's an interesting way to let many people share a single discussion or topic.