Analyst: Now that Google has Jaiku, is Yahoo after Twitter?

RedMonk's James Governor speculates that Yahoo may want to plunge into the microblogging pool, too, especially since Google's in now.

Earlier today, my colleague Elinor Mills covered the announcement that Google had purchased the Helsinki, Finland-based microblogging company Jaiku. It's the third oddball move in the mobile (or semi-mobile, as microblogging is) social-networking space that Google's made in the past few years, with its reported acquisition of Zingku late last month and the ill-fated buy of Dodgeball in 2005.

RedMonk analyst James Governor thinks this may not be the last microblog acquisition we'll see. In fact, he said, Google rival Yahoo may be after Jaiku rival Twitter, the company that put "microblog" in everybody's mouths when it hit the scene at this spring's South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Governor wrote in his Twitter feed (appropriately enough) that he thought Yahoo was ".9 probability" (i.e. very likely) to purchase the Bay Area start-up.

When CNET News.com's Stephen Shankland got curious and asked Governor to elaborate, the analyst responded: "(I) plucked it out of thin air," he said in an e-mail. "Google and Yahoo are in dueling acquisition mode, and Yahoo is almost certain to respond. Especially since Twitter has begun to use a footer on SMS messages it sends out--which could of course be used as a microbillboard."

The potential parent company, naturally, isn't talking. "We don't discuss speculation," a Yahoo spokeswoman said when asked about the possibility.

Governor also surmised via Twitter that Jaiku, or the technology behind it, may eventually become part of the much-rumored Google mobile operating system. Blogger Robert Scoble, however, said that "the more troubling thing is that Google acquires companies and then we never hear about these companies again. Will that happen to Jaiku? I hope not."

CNET News.com's Elinor Mills and Stephen Shankland contributed to this story.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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