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Nokia buys social networking start-up Plazes

24 июня 2008

Key to the deal will be the technological knowledge and assets Nokia will acquire. Plazes is a 13-employee start-up, headquartered in Zurich with its main operations in Berlin, that has developed a Web platform for location-sharing on both mobile phones and laptops.

Plazes provides a context-aware social-activity service that people can use to plan, record and share their social activities, Nokia explained in its announcement. Basically, the service enables users to record "why they are at a given location at a given time, whether in the past, present or future," the vendor said.

"In addition to the key assets, through this acquisition Nokia will bring on a visionary team with an advanced understanding of social-activity services, as well as the technical ability to further develop this area," said Niklas Savander, head of Nokia Services and Software.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Nokia said it aims to complete the deal by the third quarter, after which Plazes will be fully integrated into its Services and Software unit.

The vendor said the deal will allow it to extend its context-based offering by adding time and place to its social networking service offering.

"If all goes well, in the near future Plazes will be made available to millions of Nokia customers both online and on millions of mobile devices," commented Plazes, on its blog.

Still, it hinted that a takeover by Nokia won't prevent consumers from accessing the service via handsets made by other vendors.

"It was important to make sure that whoever buys us is actually interested in running and improving the service," said Plazes.

"We will continue to listen to and work with our passionate users and developers, and yes, we will even release that iPhone Plazer," said the social networking company, referring to a previously announced software client for the Apple handset.

Plazes is available as a Web-based application, or users can download the Plazer client to their device.

As part of Nokia's move into software-based services, the handset giant has expanded into amongst other things, geo-location and navigation services.

In 2007, Nokia bought navigation software maker Navteq for $8.1 billion.

The high-profile deal drew attention from EU regulators, however, it is widely expected that the merger will be approved, with the final decision due 8 August.

Источник: Total Telecom

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