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Jaiku Returns With Unlimited Invites

When Google acquired the microblogging service Jaiku in October of last year, many people had high hopes for Jaiku’s future. Would a Google-flavored Twitter soon show up everywhere from iGoogle to the upcoming Android handset, we wondered? Instead, news from the company slowed to a trickle and the doors stayed locked to newcomers – signs that many took to mean Google had essentially abandoned the service. But today, things are happening at Jaiku once again – most notably, unlimited invites are now available. Is Jaiku poised to make a comeback?

At the time of the acquisition by Google, Jaiku was a promising competitor to Twitter. This was before presidential debates were taking place via tweets or the Mars Phoenix Lander was announcing the discovery of ice on Mars. In fact, in many ways, Jaiku was thought to be the superior service, considering its features like threaded conversations, easy group creation, and RSS import. But once Google got its hands on the service, a whole lot of nothing seemed to happen.

Now, we’re tentatively raising our hopes once again. As VentureBeat reports, Jaiku is back after several days spent offline in a move to Google’s datacenters as they continue their move to Google’s App Engine service, the Google answer to Amazon’s web services stack. In addition, there is now a brand-new TOS that existing users must accept upon login, which brings the original up to Google standards, presumably.

However, what’s most exciting is that users now have unlimited invites to share with their friends, a step we hope is just the first of many in Jaiku’s rebirth. Yet, as exciting as a Google Twitter-like service is, so much time has passed that Twitter has the market share and mindshare of those that want to participate in a micro-blogging community. Jaiku has a long battle ahead if they truly want to compete now.

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