If you're at all like me, Twitter is your digital heroin. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) wants to change that; its blunt instrument is a Finnish start-up called Jaiku, acquired last October for an undisclosed sum. On Sunday, VentureBeat reported that DoubleGoo will hoist Jaiku into the cloud via its App Engine service.
Should you care? Not according to Foolish colleague Seth Jayson, who skewered the deal after Google made it:
We're back to dot-com mania, where big companies are chasing new concepts for no reason other than to get a foot in the door and keep others out. Doesn't make a bit of difference if that door leads to a good place or not. After all, there's no indication YouTube is destined to be a profit earner. Nor any of the online "office suite" that Google has cobbled together.
All true, and yet entirely off-point. Google no more needs to charge for its properties than do CBS (NYSE: CBS ) , Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , or any of the other TV titans. What Google needs is your clicks, which it gets via search and land grabs like Gootube and Jaiku. These are the gateways to more searches.
What's more, we know from Google's AdSense data that it can transform digital scrub brush into a cash factory. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) have yet to figure out how to be better at this game. So long as that's true, we can expect that Google will continue to:
- Grab good digital real estate on the cheap.
- Put ads on that real estate.
- Cultivate what works (i.e., Google News).
- Replace what doesn't (i.e., Google Video).
So yeah, Jaiku is a narcissistic and not-terribly useful service. You could argue the same about Twitter. (Though, as a writer, it does help me to get more of my stuff read.) Google doesn't care. Nor should it. Jaiku is just more real estate in a digital empire that's beginning to make Donald Trump look small.
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