Nokia To Close Content-Sharing 'Mosh'

The cell phone maker will integrate the freewheeling Mosh site into its Ovi line of services, but it will screen content.
Nokia will close its content-sharing Web site Mosh and roll elements of it into its upcoming application store.

Nokia's Mosh was created in 2007 with the goal of enabling users to post and download what they want. The "people-powered" site was tailored for smartphones and cell phones, and users could find apps, games, themes, ring tones, and other mobile content.

The site steadily picked up steam in the Nokia community, and it had more than 137 million downloads. While this is dwarfed by the success of Apple's App Store -- which recently reported more than 800 million downloads -- Mosh's success was fairly organic because there was no real marketing push from Nokia. The company also took a hands-off approach about what type of content was allowed to be shared.

But the site is a potential source of embarrassment for the cell phone manufacturer because it has attracted a lot of pornographic content. Additionally, it operated under the safe-harbor provision, which means copyrighted material was only removed once a takedown notice was issued. This could potentially strain relationships with recording industries because some users would upload copyrighted music.

Nokia did not give an exact date for the shutdown, but the sharing nature of the site will live on with the Ovi Store. But the cell phone manufacturer has said it will vet all content that goes into its store.

The move comes as Nokia is making a big push into the content-delivery business as a strategic decision to make its handsets more attractive. The company has or will soon launch mobile services that provide social networking, music, navigation, and gaming.

Nokia soon will join the likes of Android, Apple, Research In Motion, and Windows Mobile by having an over-the-air store for downloading and buying apps. The Ovi Store will try to differentiate itself from the competition by integrating social networking and location information into the store.

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