| SAN FRANCISCO, June 10
SAN FRANCISCO, June 10 Tango, the popular mobile
messaging app, said Tuesday it has struck deals with media
companies including AOL and Vevo to distribute content
in a new effort to differentiate itself in the hotly contested
mobile messaging sector.
Tango said its 200 million users worldwide will be able to
browse new "Channels" for entertainment, news, sports and other
categories to discover articles, videos and songs. Content
providers so far include music streaming service Spotify, AOL
properties including the Huffington Post and Dailymotion, the
For Tango, the media partnerships are critical for its
ambitions to become an online media hub - and a differentiating
feature from other messaging services such as Whatsapp, the
startup acquired by Facebook Inc in a $19 billion deal
Whatsapp, for instance, has focused exclusively on improving
its text-based messaging service, while China's Tencent Holdings
service WeChat touts the games it offers.
Tango co-founder Eric Setton said having unique and rich
content would provide a unique draw for users. At the same time,
Tango's messaging service provided the ideal platform to
distribute content for media companies, he argued.
"People realize that less and less time is spent on Web
browsers, and all of the rest of the time is in apps," Setton
said in an interview. "We have a role to play here, in the
distribution of content and the discovery of content because
content producers need a way to get into bigger and bigger
Facebook's Whatsapp acquisition in February - the largest in
history for a venture-backed company - cast a spotlight squarely
on the promise and potential value of mobile messaging apps.
Tokyo-based Line Corp, one of Asia's fastest growing
messaging services, is considering an initial public offering
this year, according to media reports.
Tango has been watched closely in Silicon Valley circles
particularly after it received an investment exceeding $200
million from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-ALIB.N in March,
effectively cementing its ties to the Chinese e-commerce giant.
(Reporting by Gerry Shih; editing by Gunna Dickson)