As part of its continuing drive into Internet services, Nokia plans to buy social networking startup Plazes, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has operations in Berlin.
Plazes, which offers services similar to Jaiku and Twitter, provides location-aware services that let subscribers share and coordinate their social activities.
According to a Nokia company spokesman, the acquisition of Plazes helps Nokia bring people and places closer together. Plazes also links to services such as Twitter, which provide instant messaging tools for Web and mobile phone subscribers to keep track of their friends’ daily activities.
As cell phone penetration has neared 100% in many regions of the world, companies such as Nokia have begun transforming their company strategies from hardware based. In the specific instance of Nokia, it has been amassing companies that play in the Internet space. For example, last year, the Finnish company purchased digital map maker Navteq for $8.1 billion and software developer Trolltech for $155 million.
When the deal is complete, Plazes will become part of Nokia’s services and software unit. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.