Funny-name acquisition: Google buys Jaiku

The search company acquires a service that lets you keep your friends abreast of every little thing that happens in your extremely important existence.

Published October 9, 2007 6:53PM (EDT)

The Google and Jaiku blogs are announcing that Google has purchased Jaiku.

I know exactly what you're thinking: What's Jaiku? It's a service that lets you send in-no-way-annoying little messages to your friends, relatives, co-workers, and every distant acquaintance who might ever have had the pleasure to cross your path, people whom you are sure hang on your every word and want -- no, need -- updates on all that happens in your fabulous life. Messages like:

"I am at the store now."
"Hey, the produce guy looks like Matthew Mcconaughey."
"Good news, I just got home! T-R-A-F-F-I-C."
"Oh, that Matlock!"
"Sometimes I wonder if Thomas Kincaid is a hack. Is that bad?"
"Dear god, will the loneliness ever end?"

Right, in other words it's sort of like Twitter. And like Pownce. And, yes, also like Dodgeball, which, yes, Google also owns and has largely squandered.

Neither Jaiku nor Google will say what Google plans to do with the company, beyond "expanding" Jaiku's technology. Existing Jaiku users should notice no interruption in their service; they can still invite friends to join, but new registrations have been shut down for now.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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