Nokia buys media-sharing site Twango

The Finnish cell phone manufacturer announces that it has bought the Redmond, Wash.-based start-up, which specializes in multimedia sharing.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read
Twango's home page. Twango

Media-sharing site Twango updated its Web site on Monday to announce that it's been chomped up by cell phone manufacturer Nokia. With its cool new toy, Nokia hopes to make it easier for handset owners to share multimedia content among desktop, Web, and mobile platforms.

"The Twango acquisition is a concrete step towards our consumer Internet services vision of providing seamless access to information, entertainment, and social networks--at any time, anywhere, from any connected device, in any way that you choose," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's executive vice president and general manager of multimedia at Nokia, in a joint 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."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A sexy Nokia N95 Nokia

I played around with a Twango account for a bit after testing it out when the Redmond, Wash.-based start-up (yes, it was founded by Microsoft alums) came to the DigitalLife trade show in New York last October. It's sort of like a mix between Flickr and multimedia "channel" creator Kyte.tv, facilitating the storage and sharing of a variety of media types and allowing them to be organized into "channels." To be honest, the structure of the site confused me somewhat (are "channels" like Flickr "albums" but with audio and video too?) Then again, I also can't seem to wrap my head around all those fancy Nokia N-series handsets that you can play with at the company's nightclub-like flagship store in midtown Manhattan.

But the match makes sense: it's clear that both companies pursue a strategy that focuses on the ultra-functional, the feature-heavy, and the if-it-counts-as-media-we'll-help-you-share-it mentality. It's unlikely that this acquisition will affect a whole lot of people who aren't Nokia customers (and it's not yet very clear as to how Twango itself will change) but it'll be interesting to see how this affects mobile media-sharing.