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In a sign of the growing importance of mobile social networks, Good Technology acquired Intercasting for an undisclosed amount.
Intercasting is an enabler of on-device social networking, and its Anthem software can integrate features like mobile e-mail, social networks, and instant messaging into a phone's native functionality. The Anthem platform is aimed at cellular operators, and it's currently being used by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Boost Mobile.
Good, which is known for its push mobility products, said integrating the Anthem platform and other Intercasting technologies will enable it to bring smartphone-like capabilities to more than a billion feature phones.
"Mobile users are more connected than ever before, but we know they want easier-to-use solutions that let them do more on a broader selection of devices," Intercasting CEO Shawn Conahan said in a statement. "Combining our Anthem solution and technology with Good's patented push technology will create the most versatile and open real-time synchronization platform for a broad range of applications available today."
The move is a clear signal that social networking is becoming an increasingly important feature for cell phones and smartphones, and Jupiter Research estimates there will be more than 600 million mobile social network users by 2012. The acquisition would enable Good to sell mobile operators a solution that gives its phones out-of-the-box access to social networks, IM, and mobile e-mail.
The mobile social networking space is dominated by MySpace and Facebook, and there are also a plethora of startups looking to carve out their niche. Because Intercasting's platform is agnostic, Good will potentially be able to offer access to any mobile social network that becomes popular.
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