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Monday, October 15, 2007

Google and Jaiku... no good for prepay subscribers?

Everyone seems to be all a-twitter with discussions about the Google/Jaiku acquisition. I have to say it's not an area I've watched too closely - I'm not convinced that the average person is really prepared to do status updates many times a day, which is why most Yahoo/Skype chat sessions start with "Hey, are you online?"

But anyway, I just had a look at the Jaiku FAQ.

20MB a month is quite a lot, especially for people who don't have flatrate data. Which, outside the US, Japan and Finland, is most people - particularly teenagers on prepay tariffs. Yes, you can sign up for the capped £1 / €1 per day deals, but I can't see the average student wearing a £30 a month extra bill for this. Not to mention the fact that Nokia S60 phones' penetration into the (largely unsubsidised) prepay market is fairly low. Last time I asked Symbian, they didn't even have a strategy for targeting prepay users, or identify it as a specific target segment with unique needs.

On the other hand, maybe Google just wants the core software engines and mobile-savviness of the founders to plug into its own future social networking and/or mobile platforms. We shall see....

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