Why did Nokia acquire Twango?

I read another piece this am on the Twango acquisition and it’s got me wondering what the hell Nokia is really thinking here. Between Mosh and Twango, they will now own two separate social sites. Actually, if you count the Loudeye acquisition and Music Recommenders, there are three – though MR is not really that social.

According to the Mashable post:

The plan is to provide a seamless integration of Twango on both the Internet and on your cell phone. This will make room for a new way for people to share content and stay connected. With the ability to share photos, videos, Twango’s availability in an integrated, cross-platform existence will offer access to friends and their content, as well as a way to organize and manage your own content. [Mashable]

If you think about this for a moment, there are already a few building blocks in place. Nokia has a web upload capability that can send content to Flickr and Vox, though not yet to Twango. They have Lifeblog which captures everything you do (pictures, video, sms and mms) and can sync with both your desktop (on Windows) or send to TypePad.

For $90 Million – hell let’s say $20 Million – you’d think Nokia would want to develop a service or symbian application to send amd sync content from your device to ANY service you might want to use. It’s easier to maintain contact and activity on a social network than it is to move — especially when you’ve got content and a conversation with an audience. As of this moment, there is little to no incentive to use Twango over Flickr for images, YouTube/Viddler/Blip for video and I did not see how it would make for a good place to blog.

If Nokia’s tag line is Connecting People, why are they going out of their way to develop new stand-alone services, rather than working with what’s already present and being used by communities globally. They could really just focus enabling the experience from Mobile to web and back. From a user perspective, I would much rather have an application or service that could talk with everything else I use to make it simple for content to go back and forth. This would make it easy for me and easy for my friends to stay in touch. We already know Facebook is working on the connection with the desktop and Jaiku, Facebook and even Plaxo offer ways to have content from other syndicate-able sources appear in your profile, but no one has come up with way to link with your mobile.

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18 Replies to “Why did Nokia acquire Twango?”

  1. one sentence: “buy shozu”

    fix its memory issues, make it work with absolutely everything (it already works with many many sites) and then make it part of S60

  2. Well isn’t it a reasonable idea, that Nokia wants their customers to use a service which Nokia owns? We will see, if other companys mobil phones will get the ability to connect to twango. If they don’t it might be reasonable, that the twango-using customer would buy another Nokia rather than a phone which can’t sync with twango?

    Walled gardens are bad and disliked by experienced internet citizens, but still many users love them without thinking about possible consequences. Companys love walled gardens too, because the companys hope to confine the customers in the companys garden to hold the customer off from leaving. I’m not sure, for how much longer this will work, but in a near future many many inexperienced internet users will become internet citizens, recognize the concept behind walled gardens and will leave…

  3. This locked and unlocked device stuff is a different story. Here in Germany (and I guess it’s the same in whole Europe) only cellphones from so called “pre-paid cards” (you have to buy a asset worth like 10 bucks and can use your phone until the 10 bucks are spent) are SIM-locked. Plus the unholy iPhone thing. So any Motorola or SonyEricsson can be used with any Carrier.

  4. One should bear in mind that its not necessarily the Twango as it is now that Nokia wants. They bought a company, its assets and human capital as well, i.e. they may want to use it for something that may look something quite different.

    Anyway, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    What they have done so far with maps2go is great though. I hope they will do something as cool with the other acquisitions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I would agree that the gate5 acquisition followed by smart2go for free and the AGPS rollout is solid. In social software however they seem to be moving in parallel on a few fronts — I hope it’s not too many things to manage a successful future service.

  6. True. Social software/services is quite difficult to get right (just look at the “Web 2.0” sites that have already come and gone) though, so perhaps Nokia has decided to try it out in several fronts to get at least one or two right. As Tommi Vilkamo noted on his blog (comments section), probably the best strategy for Nokia would be to not follow “walled gardens” approach, but at the same time see if it can itself put out the most compelling offering. For many users, simplicity and seamless integration in the end are the things that matter (Apple anyone?).

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