Nokia Gets Social With Photo-sharer Twango

In a bid to add more multimedia services for its mobile phones, Nokia  today agreed to buy photo-sharing specialist Twango for an undisclosed sum.

Twango, founded by a handful of former Microsoft  veterans and based in the Redmond suburb the software giant made famous, makes software that lets consumers organize and share photos, videos and audio clips through mobile devices and computers.

The company’s service, which supports 110 file types, is similar to Yahoo’s  Flickr property or Google’s  YouTube, but operates on a much smaller scale.

Nokia’s interest in Twango points to the convergence of social networking sites and mobile devices; Consumers want the ability to access multimedia content from their phones as way to make them feel more connected to friends and family all over the world.

“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, executive vice president and general manager of multimedia at Nokia, in a statement.

Nokia plans to let Twango grow, as Glover said in the statement “we will aggressively build out our team in the Seattle area, allowing us to deliver a superior global media sharing service.”

With Twango, Nokia will add the visual service to accommodate the music, navigation and games software services on its mobile phones.

Nokia, which said it is restructuring next year to address the convergence of the mobile communications and the Web, has been acquisitive when it comes to multimedia companies.

Last year the phone maker bought digital music distributor Loudeye for $60 million and navigation software maker gate5 AG for an undisclosed sum.

Nokia easily leads the mobile phone market versus Motorola , Samsung and Palm. Motorola and Palm are both struggling, and Samsung appears poised to take over the No. 2 position from Motorola after the phone maker warned of an earnings shortfall.

Palm is suffering from similar handset weaknesses and sold a 25 percent stake to private-equity firm Elevation Partners under a recapitalization plan.

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