The world’s largest mobile handset maker, Nokia, announced today it is acquiring all the assets of little-known social media site Twango for an undisclosed mount. Twango got started in 2004 in Redmond by former MIcrosoft employees, and has built a series of hosting and social media services designed to enable users to share photos, video, and other media privately to family and friends or to the world at large. Nokia is looking to leverage Twango’s expertise and technologies to expand its own multimedia social sharing services—of course, tied to Nokia’s mobile and desktop devices and services.
“The Twango acquisition is a concrete step towards our Internet services vision of providing seamless access to information, entertainment, and social networks—at anytime, anywhere, from any connected device, in any way that you choose,” said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s executive VP and general manager for multimedia, in a statement. “We have the most complete suite of connected multimedia experiences including music, navigation, games, and—with the Twango acquisition—photos, videos, and a variety of document types.”
Industry analysts increasingly see social networking and media services as key to the development of the mobile industry, particularly in markets like Europe and North America where near-saturation levels have been reached with mobile devices: at this point, most people who want a mobile phone have one. Social media and services are seen as a key differentiating factor between devices and services as existing mobile users look to upgrade or augment services with which they’re already familiar.
Twango plans to build out its staffing in the Seattle area, and plans to continue its existing services with some small tweaks, but without any major interruptions. Free accounts will still be available.