Google's Twitter Variant, Jaiku, to Go Open Source Too
Earlier today, we reported on new financing for Indenti.ca, an open source variant on Twitter's microblogging service. Google has its own alternative to Twitter, Jaiku, which it acquired in October of 2007. It hasn't gone far on its own, but Google has just announced that it will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase and will open source it. "With the open source Jaiku Engine project, organizations, groups and individuals will be able to roll their own microblogging services and deploy them on Google App Engine," according to Google's post.
Vic Gundotta, Vice President of Engineering at Google, says:
"As we mentioned last April, we are in the process of porting Jaiku over to Google App Engine. After the migration is complete, we will release the new open source Jaiku Engine project on Google Code under the Apache License. While Google will no longer actively develop the Jaiku codebase, the service itself will live on thanks to a dedicated and passionate volunteer team of Googlers."
"With the open source Jaiku Engine project, organizations, groups and individuals will be able to roll-their-own microblogging services and deploy them on Google App Engine. The new Jaiku Engine will include support for OAuth, and we're excited about developers using this proven code as a starting point in creating a freely available and federated, open source microblogging platform."
Google is also shutting down its Dodgeball mobile social networking service, and its Mashup Editor. Open sourcing Jaiku is probably good news for developers, since it will allow organizations and individuals to customize their own microblogging applications, but I have to wonder how much success Identi.ca or an open source Jaiku will really have given how entrenched Twitter is. People have only so much bandwidth for micro-messaging, and everyone is on Twitter. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if useful vertical microblogging applications arise out of Identi.ca and an open source Jaiku.