After the first Twitter and blog post of Robert Scoble about Google buying Jaiku the twitter space is full of Jaiku. Its everywhere. Lots of discussion on what this means for Twitter. Robert states in a second post that the deal isn’t about Jaiku versus Twitter, but more about Google versus Facebook.
While I don’t have the excellent sources Robert has, I think he is right about this. Google understands social networks much better than Facebook does. Lets see how the jigsaw puzzle pieces might fit together to describe the Google strategy with respect to Facebook.
- First of all Orkut is (or will be) more open than Facebook is. For example, Orkut will allow application developers to let their services run on their own servers instead of on Orkut servers. Facebook doesn’t allow that. It is much more a walled garden than Orkut is. Why?Because Facebook needs the Facebook network to be valuable, while Google needs to be the connector across the entire Internet. Orkut is just another asset in that strategy.
- Secondly, Google doens’t have to build a social networks as its primary strategy. Unlike Facebook Orkut is simply another means to an end. Google is the connectivity on the web, and Orkut only is one aspect of that strategy. Think Gmail, think Google earth, thin iGoogle. All major Internet platforms than can easily be integrated into one compelling service for the user.
- Google is ready to launch its Google Phone. As said in several posts the strategy here is not to attack the iPhone, it is to attack Microsoft as a mobile platform.
- Google is building up strength in Asia, the continent where (payed) mobile services are adopted quicker than anywhere else in the world!
- Jaiku provides Orkut users with mobile presence information, which will add value to the connectedness in the social network. Let’s not forget that the mobile phone is the most dominant device worldwide (think communities dominate brand by Toni Ahonen)
- Jailu does rss feed aggregation well, providing Google yet another advantage. It controls the world of Rss feeds with Google reader, Feedburner, and now on the mobile platform Jaiku
- I saw a post earlier on Engadget suggesting that Google is also working on a Google PC, which supports again their strategy of becoming the main platform on the Internet and Mobile.
While Facebook is building walls around their service, trying to increase the value of their network (instead of value for its users), Google is becoming the major operating system om the Internet (Search, Social Networks, mail, RSS) and Mobile (Google Phone, Jaiku). Given this strategy I would put my cards on Google, not Facebook. No way they will be able to match that. The big question now becomes whether or not Google will be able to integrate all these services and still remain open as a platform thus providing more value to its users.