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Nokia targets Web 2.0

Mobile giant is excited by the boom in user-generated content
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Nokia is getting ready to embrace Web 2.0 — but how far the user-generated content revolution will affect the Finnish phone company is yet to be determined.

Jarkko Sairanen, vice president of corporate strategy at the world's largest handset maker, remained cautious about the impact of such trends: "In the short term we'll make money from selling devices... whether that will be changing over the coming years remains to be seen.

Sairanen added: "In terms of current business models, it's really too early to say. For strategy, the first seeds are being sown. This is very dynamic."

The handset giant is "working with Internet communities" and hopes to make Web 2.0 cheerleaders such as YouTube into a mobile proposition, said Sairanen.

The company is gearing up to "take Internet services people are used to using on the PC and deliver them to the mobile and enhance that also".

This means adding location-based services — not only will your social network know you're online, they'll know exactly where you are, for example.

The handset maker has already buddied up with Yahoo and has embedded the Flickr client in the Gallery application of some handsets — enabling happy snappers to upload directly to Flickr without needing to go through the traditional Web interface. It's also collaborating with MySpace.

Such partnering is the way forward for Nokia, Sairanen said.

But Nokia is also throwing its hat into the ring with media publishing, having today launched Widsets — a so called Web 2.0 service that gathers together all users' favourite user-generated content, blogs, RSS and so on, on a single dashboard for Java phones.

The service also lets users suggests new sets of widgets to be included and create new ones for their own blogs or sites. Nokia has not yet decided how to monetise this although advertising is one option, according to execs.

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