It was announced today on Jaiku’s homepage, that Google has acquired the social mobile startup. Jaiku is similar to Pownce (Kevin Rose’s other startup) and market leader Twitter. This service allows you to create an activity stream, or micro-blog, which can be updated via a mobile device and allows you to follow what your friends are doing.
So why did Google buy Jaiku over the competition? It would seem Jaiku is positioned between Twitter and Pownce in market share. Allen Stern at Center Networks seems to think that Pownce is on a downward slide and the Alexa data seems to support this. Twitter has faced some technical issues including downtime and slow servers. They also took a venture round somewhere between $1-5 million back in July. So, buying a more stable company withe good market share might have been the best bet for Google as Pownce seems to be slowing down and Twitter faces technical issues and might have been too expensive to buy.
Personally, I do not understand why these services are so popular. Sometimes I think people are just too connected to the internet and a little less time online could be beneficial.