& cplSiteName &

Nokia: It Takes Web 2.0 to Twango

Ray Le Maistre
7/24/2007
50%
50%

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has continued its advance into the Web 2.0 world of file sharing with the acquisition of Redmond-based social networking startup Twango . (See Nokia Acquires Twango.)

Financial details were not disclosed, though The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was set to be worth no more than €70 million (US$96.7 million).

This isn't the first time Nokia has acquired a media sharing business based in the Seattle area: In August 2006 the mobile phone giant paid $60 million to buy wholesale music download services specialist Loudeye. (See Nokia to Buy Loudeye.)

And in June, Nokia's private equity arm invested in online TV startup kyte.tv . (See Nokia Invests in Kyte.tv.)

That investment and the Twango acquisition will feed into Nokia's planned Services and Software division, one of the company's three new business units that will begin operations on January 1 next year. (See Nokia Streamlines Structure and Nokia Reorganizes.)

Twango, though, operates in YouTube Inc. and MySpace territory, which is becoming increasingly crowded -- just check out how long the list of video sharing sites is on our sister site, Contentinople .

Twango, founded in 2004, which describes itself as "a free and fun place to share your photos, videos and audio," is a social networking site that allows its users to upload media files from fixed and mobile devices. Click on this link to get a snapshot of what Twango is all about.

It launched in October 2006, boasting ease of use and the ability to support more than 110 file types. For example, users can add new files to their Twango "channel" by sending an email (with attachment) from a PC or mobile device to their Twango account. Twango is believed to have quite a small user base of a few tens of thousands.

Nokia says the acquisition will give it a "seasoned team with strong social media and Web services expertise." That team, which is now set to grow, currently totals just 10 people, including the five founders, all former Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) staffers (hence the Redmond location) -- Philip Carmichael, Serena Glover, Randy Kerr, Jim Laurel, and Mike Laurel. The company has, to date, been based in Glover's house and funded entirely by the founders.

The deal allows Nokia to tap into the application development sector, as well, as Twango has made a point of publishing its API (Application Programming Interface) code so that third-party developers can create new applications to work with the Twango platform. "The API gives developers the freedom to create innovative software and services such as uploaders, mashups, and new ways to display and manipulate media stored on Twango," according to the Twango Website.

It also offers Nokia another way to generate revenues, as it plans to introduce paid-for Twango accounts in the future, though no details are available yet. The Finnish company stresses that a "free level of service" will still be available once paid services are introduced.

Nokia also plans to expand Twango internationally, as the Finnish firm expects to introduce the service in different languages and store user data outside the U.S.

The Twango name may not survive long-term, though, as Nokia says it "may decide on a name that is more suitable" as it takes the service global.

(On a possibly related note: Tango is HUGE in Finland. Coincidence?)

Nokia says it will provide details about its future plans for Twango's service some time in the first half of 2008, though it seems certain that Nokia will at least add file-sharing functionality based on Twango's code to its range of multimedia handsets.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mocelet
50%
50%
mocelet,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:05:04 PM
re: Nokia: It Takes Web 2.0 to Twango
It sounds like Nokia overpaid. Twango has around 80K monthly unique visitors. Assuming Nokia paid $80m, they paid almost $1000/visitor. YouTube was around $100/visitor.

ThereGĒÖs a significant interest in social media networks from big players (Sony GĒō Grouper, Cisco GĒō Five Across). I wonder if Motorola, Palm, Helio, Apple, etc. are shopping for acquisition.

Any thoughts?
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders talks with VMware's Shekar Ayyar, who explains why cloud architectures are becoming more distributed, what that means for workloads, and why telcos can still be significant cloud services players.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 17, 2018, Chicago, Illinois
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telus CTO: NFV Burden May Cripple Telcos
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/14/2018
TM Forum Sea-Change Overcomes That Sinking Feeling
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/17/2018
Verizon CEO Says LA Is Second 5G City
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
Swisscom: Quick off the Blocks With 5G
By Gary Maidment, for Huawei
SAIL the Atlantic With CAMTEL
By Gary Maidment, for Huawei
What's in the Box?
By Huawei
Beginning With the End In Mind
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives