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TECH SPACE
Facebook buys startup to link with more mobile phones

by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) March 21, 2011
Facebook is buying an Israeli startup that specializes in software that connects any type of mobile telephone to the leading online social network and other popular Internet destinations.

Facebook on Monday confirmed that it is acquiring Snaptu with an eye toward extending its reach to the hundreds of millions of mobile phones that don't feature the computer-like Internet capabilities of smartphones.

"As part of our goal to offer people around the world the opportunity to connect and share on mobile devices, we're excited to confirm that we recently signed an agreement to acquire Snaptu," Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"As part of Facebook, Snaptu's team and technology will enable us to deliver an even better mobile experience on feature phones more quickly."

The deal was expected to close in a few weeks. Financial details were not disclosed.

Snaptu was founded in 2007 with the stated goal of making available on "feature phones" innovative services people access routinely on smartphones.

Nearly 1.6 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide last year, with 296.6 million of those being sophisticated smartphones, according to figures released last month by industry tracker Gartner.

In January, Facebook launched a new software application for feature phones that was co-developed with Snaptu.

"We'll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone," Snaptu said.



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TECH SPACE
NY Times unveils plan to charge readers on the Web
Washington (AFP) March 17, 2011
The New York Times unveiled plans Thursday to begin charging for full access to its website in a move that will be closely watched by other newspapers looking to boost online revenue. The Times will offer readers 20 free articles a month at NYTimes.com before they will be asked to sign on to one of three digital subscription plans that cost from $15 to $35 a month. Arthur Sulzberger, the ... read more







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