Jaiku users will be pleased to see that there are a couple handy additions to their Jaiku service. Many of these features have been requested many times and it is great to see them incorporated. For starters, the Jaiku IM service has been released to the masses. It runs on a Jabber platform so you can send and receive Jaikus using Google Talk or your preferred Jabber compatible IM client. This is one feature which Twitter has enjoyed for some time (even though it doesn’t always work) and which Jaiku users have been virtually begging for.
Other additions to the Jaiku service are focussed on the Jaiku site and include person and channel search (I have been asking for this for a while now and I am really glad it is finally here), a more streamlined Explore page which only shows new Jaikus. I really love the Google search results when you run searches for people or channels. The search results seem to be drawn from Google searches on the Jaiku site itself. Just the same, they add some balance to the results.
The Explore page also includes a side panel with the most active conversations on Jaiku at the time. Some of these conversations have quite a following and this is a fantastic way to generate and sustain buzz about a particular topic.
Of course Jaiku isn’t the only microblogging service to have revealed some upgrades. Twitter recently announced some handy new features. Twitter users now have a search function so they can find all their friends on Twitter and add them. This is aided by the ability to search through your Gmail contacts for Twitter users based on their email addresses. I tried this out and found a number of my contacts active on Twitter and I was able to add them all by clicking on a single link.
These additions have certainly enhanced my experience of both services, particularly Jaiku. The IM option is a great help because I can now spend less time on the Jaiku site posting updates (or running 3rd party software to do that) and I can use the tools I am already using to keep up to date and to keep my updates flowing.