& 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.

ThereGs a significant interest in social media networks from big players (Sony G Grouper, Cisco G 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 grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
The Anatomy of Automation: Q&A With Cisco's Roland Acra
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 12/7/2017
You Can't Fix OTT Streaming Problems If You Can't See Them
Mike Hollyman, Head of Consulting Engineering, Nokia Deepfield, 12/8/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed