Nokia has been betting a lot of its future on Windows Phone lately. But perhaps that is not sufficient for Nokia to build a foothold into the social content consumption platform that mobile devices have become. For some time, Nokia has been working on a Google Latitude-like social app called Pulse (already released for the Windows Phone, as a beta) and it has now announced that the app will be ported to iOS and Android soon.
Pulse is a mash up of Nokia Maps, Check-ins, Group Messaging and Media sharing. And if we can believe what Nokia promises, Pulse is first of a series of interconnected apps that will mark Nokia's foray into social networks. It allows for the user to create custom groups of friends and family (much like Circles on Google+ or Lists on Facebook) and share specific content (messages, photos, and locations) with them.
What is left to be seen now is how Pulse would perform in an ecosystem where services like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Latitude already have a strong hold, given that the feedback to Pulse during the beta test hasn't been very encouraging (only 3 stars, from 46 reviews). Pulse is right now available for Windows Phone 7, Symbian 3, Meego and as a web based service.
The move is also very clearly indicative of North America's growing importance as a market for the Nokia+Windows Phone devices, given that Nokia will soon be releasing the Lumia 900 in the North American market. The development of the app has taken place in Boston as well, and not in Finland as it used to be.
The move from Nokia is an interesting one, given how Nokia is getting more into the role of an app-developer, building a new social platform tightly integrated with the Windows Phone, to begin with, and taking head on against existing social giants.
Only time will tell how the story unfolds.