Nokia buys into social networking

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Nokia is to acquire Swiss start-up Plazes in a deal which the handset maker says will help it develop location-based social networking..

Plazes lets users plan, record and share social activities, as well as share information with friends and contacts about their location.

The deal means that Nokia will acquire a team that already has knowledge of running location-based social activity services.

Nokia said that Plazes adds the "elements of place and time" to social networking by allowing people to alert friends of their activity and whereabouts.

Users can also review their own and others' past activities, share their experiences and make plans with friends.

"This acquisition helps Nokia bring people and places closer together," said Niklas Savander, head of Nokia services and software.

The Plazes service is similar to that of US-based Twitter, which also encourages users to share updates on their location with friends, family and business contacts.

Nokia said that the purchase, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to be finalised in the third quarter of this year. Plazes will become part of Nokia's services and software unit.

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