Zamano in strategic link-up with Bebo

7 Aug 2007

Irish consumer-focused mobile software company Zamano has developed a new mobile video messaging widget for Bebo users and has confirmed that it is investigating strategic deals with other social networking players, including MySpace and Facebook.

“Our angle on it is that we think there’s a great need now to build on the confluence between mobile and fixed line,” explained John O’Shea, chief executive of the AIM-listed company.

“Most people spend time online but would like to stay in contact with their social networks when they’re away from the desk, and the mobile phone is the way to do that. We are investing in creating linkages with social networking sites.

“We’ve developed a widget you can download on to a Bebo profile and you can send and receive video, voice and text messages. It’s beginning to be as popular as text messaging.

“It’s the next step forward and people are leaving video messages all the time. It’s a free upgrade to a widget that more than 20,000 people are using. They can leave a video or voice mail on your Bebo page. The future development will see them be able to leave these messages on your mobile,” O’Shea explained.

O’Shea said the ability to leave Bebo voice and video messages on mobiles is currently being held up by high data costs among mobile operators. “But from what we’re seeing Irish mobile operators are following the lead of UK operators and are reducing the costs of mobile data. Soon people won’t have to think too much about their WAP usage on handsets.

“They will soon be spending lots of time browsing on their handsets without fretting about costs.”

O’Shea described Zamano’s relationship with Bebo as a commercial relationship whereby Zamano’s activity helps to drive advertising to its site. “The widgets we develop cost only €2 to buy as well as revenue from premium SMS traffic that is generated.”

O’Shea concluded by confirming that Zamano is investigating similar arrangements with social networking sites MySpace, YouTube and Facebook.

On Friday Zamano reported strong trading and expects to report approximately 15pc EBITDA growth for H1 2007 versus the same period last year. EBITDA in H2 2007 will benefit from a full six months’ contribution from the successful integration of mobile firm Eirborne, which is performing ahead of expectations.

By John Kennedy