Jaiku Is back with unlimited invites
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.

Activity Streams

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.
Jaiku_ActivityStreams.jpg

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.
Jaiku_ContactsUpdates.jpg

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_Phone.jpg

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.

Is the Timing of Jaiku Smart or Self-Defeating

There are plenty of people blogging on the re-emergence of Jaiku, but we haven't seen much excitement. Some wonder if it's too late. Perhaps it's too late to gain a share of the Twitter professional crowd. But maybe with school starting up, students will see Jaiku as a microblogging service for them. After all, who really wants to use the same services as your parents or some other old fogies? What do you think - is there a market here for Google and Jaiku just waiting to be tapped? Request an invitation and then sign up and see if there is anything to be excited about. Let us know what you think.