Messaging service Tango to offer media content




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SAN FRANCISCO – Tango, the popular mobile messaging app, said Tuesday has struck deals with media companies including AOL and Vevo to distribute content a new effort to differentiate itself 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 streaming service Spotify, AOL properties including the Huffington Post and Dailymotion, the video repository.

For Tango, the media partnerships are critical for its ambitions to become an online media hub – and a differentiating feature other messaging services such as Whatsapp, the startup acquired by Inc a $19 billion deal this year.

Whatsapp, for instance, has focused exclusively on improving its text-based messaging service, while China’ Tencent Holdings service WeChat touts the games offers.

Tango co-founder Eric Setton said having unique and rich content would provide a unique draw for users. At the same time, Tango’ messaging service provided the ideal platform to distribute content for media companies, he argued.

realize that less and less time is spent on Web browsers, and all of the rest of the time is apps,” Setton said an interview. “We have a role to play here, the distribution of content and the discovery of content because content producers need a way to get into bigger and bigger apps.”

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, 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 received an investment exceeding $200 million Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in March, effectively cementing its ties to the e-commerce giant. (Reuters)