Google buys fresh instant messaging company

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - The latest addition to Google's massive acquisition portfolio is Jaiku, a Finnish start-up specializing in mobile and Web-based intant messaging.

In addition to providing a platform for users to chat, Jaiku has an exhaustive social tracking interface.  In other words, it allows users to post their upcoming schedules, upload photos, create recommendations, and other information that is accessible by the user's list of friends.

Most striking about the acquisition, though, is that Jaiku has a strong mobile presence as well.  There are cell phone-based versions of the same PC platform that Jaiku offers, and this adds fuel to speculation that Google is seriously considering expanding into the mobile arena.

Jaiku has temporarily suspended new account sign-ups, although existing users will be able to continue using the service.  They will also be the first to be able to invite new users when Jaiku relaunches under the Google brand.

On its homepage, Jaiku states, "While it’s too soon to comment on specific plans, we look forward to working with our new friends at Google over the coming months to expand in ways we hope you'll find interesting and useful."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.