Home Nokia Acquires Media Sharing Startup Twango

Nokia Acquires Media Sharing Startup Twango

Today Nokia has acquired the media sharing service Twango. Twango combines online storage with social networking, allowing users to organize and share photos, videos and other personal media. Read/WriteWeb wrote an in-depth profile of Twango back in January, in a post entitled Twango Tackles Lucrative Media Sharing Market. Well it turns out it was a lucrative exit for Twango!

Nokia plans to use Twango to enable users to share multimedia content through their desktop and mobile devices. As we explained back in January, Twango is similar to eSnips, Multiply and PeopleAggregator, in that it combines media
sharing with social networking. Twango was founded by a group of 5 ex-Microsoft employees
in fall 2004 and officially launched in October 2006.

Twango supports over 100 file types in all – including the obvious ones like
pictures, videos, audio files, Microsoft Office documents, and PDFs. Users can upload
their media to Twango via the Web UI, or via email or a camera phone. Twango also lets
users specify access settings, to make their media private or public. Other features
include conversion and synchronization of all iPod-compatible files, mobile uploads,
embedding, and tagging.

Co-founder Jim Laurel told me back in January that Twango aims to be more than just a “destination
experience”. He said at the time that their long term play is to be a platform. Six months later, and being a part of Nokia’s platform will certainly help ramp up the product’s user base.

The following graph illustrates what Twango is all about:

Source: Twango

Mobile was key to Twango’s plans back in January, and of course it will be even more so now. As far as the market goes for media sharing, Twango’s Randy Kerr told me in January that they see it
“still in its infancy” – he quoted a stat from Forbes.com that claims “only 7% of
digital images captured in 2005 were uploaded to the web”. He told me “the average user
has yet to arrive” on media sharing sites and that currently it’s just early adopters.
Their target demographic is older and “perhaps more sophisticated” than the
MySpace crowd – i.e. in the 24-39 age group.

Interestingly I met another company yesterday here in New Zealand that is going after the exact same market – and using media sharing as their main platform. More on them in a later post (they are going global).


I noted 6 months ago that Twango is an ambitious product and that the proof of the pudding will be whether Twango can
attract users and get network effects going. It’s fair to say that’s no longer a problem for them, now that Nokia has acquired it!

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