Eero Holmila, CEO of Rohea showed me Qaiku.com a few weeks back when it was still in closed beta. Now it seems to have opened up to open beta and is accepting registrations. With services such as Qaiku, Twitbear, Bloggy and others being created it shows that the vacuum created by Jaiku’s downtime has created a new market for microblogging. The downside for the community of course is that the whole market is now very fragmented and thus the value in each new service is lower to the individual from the network point of view.
Nevertheless, let’s have a look at Qaiku.com – it’s one of the best clones of Jaiku out there, I must say. It’s still got some issues however. For example, you have to know Finnish to change the language at the front page to English, it’s hidden there in the drop down menu. Once you sign after registration it’s very similar to the Jaiku user interface. In addition to taking the best of Jaiku, there are small new improvements which in my opinion are very welcome. One of these is the possibility to see different statistics on the right hand side, along with favorite items, friends and channels, all in one place.
Furthermore, there are small tabs below the “new qaiku” -box, qaikus, stream, channels, friends, radar and favorites. Qaikus shows your new qaikus in one place where as the stream shows all qaikus and comments in one stream. Channels and friends tabs list your channels and friends, respectively. Radar is the twitter like feature where someone mentions you with @username, it will be shown on that page.
Even though the development of Qaiku is still in its very early stages, it is showing some nice results already. Qaiku lists a development list on its front page and I’m glad APIs are in the top spot. One of the reasons Twitter was able become so successful was its open attitude towards third party developers – a ton of new value added applications were built around Twitter, all increasing its usage.
The big question mark is though, will it pick up and will the tired Jaiku herds want to migrate once more to a new service now that Twitter has finally taken a relatively strong foothold in the Nordics. Remains to be seen, I haven’t managed to adopt it just yet.