Nokia Xpress Browser already offers one of the most efficient ways to browse the Internet on a mobile phone, but things are about to get a lot more exciting thanks to the introduction of Nokia Xpress Now.
Nokia Xpress Now provides a new, smarter way of discovering content on the Internet, with a web app promising to inform and entertain Nokia Asha owners. We’ve been talking to Andy Kelm, Vice President – Nokia Xpress Services, to find out more.
Nokia Xpress Now delivers a real-time, personalised look at what’s hot on the Internet,” explains Andy. “By combining the aggregated view of more than 80 million monthly users of Nokia Xpress Browser together with your browsing preferences, Nokia Xpress Now helps you discover hot stories and web sites you didn’t know existed.”
“Nokia Xpress Now is about discovering interesting stories and new content based on the wisdom of the crowd,” adds Andy, “It’s not a magazine, a story or a group of curated RSS feeds, but rather a collection of interesting web content that is always changing.”
The web app is split into three separate views: What’s Hot, You May Also Like and Most Liked (coming soon). The first option is an aggregated view of what millions of other browsers are doing in your area, says Andy, while You May Also Like provides websites depending on what you’re interested in. Most Liked is a view of recent stories that have been explicitly ‘Liked’ by users of Xpress Now. “There’s a button at the top which tells you what you’re looking at, press the button and it’ll change the view,” adds Andy.
“There’s a bit of serendipity and discovery here, not just a ranked list of one to 10,” says Andy. “Our intention is to help you to find interesting things, to inform you and to entertain you.”
Above: The current Nokia Xpress browser.
The making of Nokia Xpress Now
Nokia Xpress Now was born out of a realisation that many mobile phone consumers in emerging markets have very narrow browsing patterns. Andy explains: “Soon after we launched the Nokia Xpress Browser, we learned just how popular the Web is among consumers, but we also learned how homogenous their browsing patterns are within a country. Many of them are not coming from a world of desktop browsing, and they only know a few popular web sites. We realised that by using a sophisticated recommendations engine, we could change that.”
“Nokia has some experience in this area with our Music recommendation service, so we reached out to the team who had worked on that system and found them ready for a new challenge. We were able to bring trending content together with an adaptation of the recommendation algorithm to realise our vision.”
“The result is a very sophisticated, large-scale, real-time analytics and recommendation engine that delivers a unique experience with the goal of helping people get the most out of the web. And we’re just getting started.
Nokia Xpress Now is currently in beta in India, and it’s proving incredibly popular. Andy concludes: “It’s one of our top apps, and it has a huge impact on repeat usage of the service. Our users find the real-time nature compelling and sticky.”
Availability of Nokia Xpress Now will expand to other Nokia Asha devices and countries throughout 2013.