Big Google is watching you

You can run, but you can’t hide. Google took its latest step towards omnipresence on Wednesday, by acquiring a Finnish firm that provides social networking via mobile phones.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Jaiku, a start-up founded by Nokia boffin Jyri Engeström last year, allows mobile users to locate and communicate with the contacts in their address book, and also stream information and web feeds to the Jaiku site.

The move will fuel rumours that Google plans to build on its dominance of the internet by expanding into the mobile phone space, either by launching its own phone or developing a proprietary operating system.

Jaiku’s technology seems to overlap with some of Google’s existing products (Maps, Reader, Blogger, Calendar and so on). So it might be that the search giant sees it as a natural complement to its existing portfolio as it tries to push more and more application to mobile users.

Equally it could be that it is more interested in snapping up the talent behind Jaiku – Engeström, for one, is seen as one of the main gurus of the social networking revolution.

Or of course, it could just be part of the company’s continuing plan for total world domination. At least at the moment you can largely escape Google by turning off your computer – soon, it will know where you are whenever your mobile phone is switched on…

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