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Google acquires micro-blog Jaiku

Web giant Google continues is spending spree with the acquisition of Finnish start-up Jaiku, which specialises in RSS consolidation and information delivery to mobile devices, further fuelling talk of a Google phone.

Talk of a Google mobile phone have resurfaced following today's announcement that the search giant has acquired Jaiku, a web-based RSS consolidation service, which describes itself as an "activity stream" that works both over the web and through mobile phones.

The price paid for the Helsinki-based micro-blog was not disclosed at the time of the deal.

Jaiku is a presence sharing service (PSS) that allows its users to centralise their personal web feeds from such as MySpace, Flickr and Twitter all through a single web page and RSS feed. In addition, Jaiku also acts as a messaging service, allowing users to send each other short notes.

It is the latter area of Jaiku's operation, along with its mobile application, that may interest Google given its 'GPhone' aspirations. Jaiku Mobile, available on Nokia's S60-based smartphones, is a fully-functioning version of Jaiku tailored to a mobile handset. Jaiku users can update their status, send messages and post comments all without a PC.

"Technology has made staying in touch with your friends and family both easier and harder: living a fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle is easier (and a lot of fun), but it's more difficult to keep track of everyone when they're running around at warp speed. That's why we're excited to announce that we've acquired Jaiku, a company that's been hard at work developing useful and innovative applications for staying in touch with the people you care about most -- regardless of whether you're at a computer or on a mobile phone" according to the blog post of Tony Hsieh, Product Manager at Google.

Current Jaiku users will still be able to invite friends to use the service; however those looking to register for the service will be disappointed to hear that Jaiku has shut its doors for the time being.

A Google handset has been anticipated for months. Original speculation had Google working with Samsung on a slim-phone in March, followed by an independent blog release in August that proclaimed Google would be unveiling its handset in as little as two weeks time.

Douglas Anmuth, a Lehman Brothers analyst, told Reuters that he believes Google could potentially launch its own handset as early as February 2008.

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