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ShoZu Leverages App Stores to Bring Award-Winning Social Media Hub to Mobile Users Worldwide

ShoZu Ltd., the award-winning social media hub, announced details about its corporate strategy at the Mobile 2.0 Europe 2009 show in Barcelona last week. The announcement, which was made on the heels of ShoZu’s new CEO announcement earlier this month, included details about the company’s plan to leverage the rapidly growing selection of mobile application stores to distribute and charge for the ShoZu application, which is currently available through Apple’s iTunes app store.

Distribution through additional stores such as Nokia’s Ovi, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry App World and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Marketplace will be announced at a later date. The application also continues to be available from London-based ShoZu at www.shozu.com and its mobile site at m.shozu.com.

Although mobile application stores have been available for years, the sector is in the midst of a rapid expansion, with new or forthcoming app stores from China Mobile, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and many other wireless carriers, handset manufacturers and operating system (OS) vendors.

The new stores – along with existing ones such as Apple’s App Store, which to date has more than 1 billion downloads – all share a common goal: to provide a central location that makes it convenient for companies such as ShoZu to display and distribute innovative apps and for consumers to find and pay for them.

“From our perspective, the app store model is the best way to assure that our consumers have a satisfying social media experience,” said ShoZu Chairman and CEO Chris Wade. “It’s easier for us to distribute and for users to obtain new apps and updates more frequently, as opposed to a once-a-year purchase of a handset. App stores provide the same benefit as offering a product at retail, with built-in promotion and a commerce engine to get paid.”

ShoZu’s new strategy also reflects the company’s decision not to sell ad space in order to support the rapidly expanding demand for its service. Instead, ShoZu’s financial model will include a modest, one-time download charge for new users of the application.

The ShoZu application currently is available from Apple’s App Store for $4.99. The app also is available directly from ShoZu at no charge for smartphones running the Symbian Series 60, Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6, as well as on select BlackBerry models. As ShoZu begins or resumes distributing the app through BlackBerry App World, Ovi and Windows Marketplace for Mobile, the download charge will apply to those applications.

The ShoZu mobile application is part of the ShoZu media hub service. The ShoZu media hub service will remain free for both existing and new users through the recent introduction of new ways to access the ShoZu service, including through picture messaging/(MMS), mobile e-mail, desktop e-mail and ShoZu Desktop, based on the Adobe Air platform, that works on both Macs and Windows PCs.

“App stores are where customers are and where they’re headed,” said Wade. “Mobile users who aren’t aware of ShoZu now are much more likely to discover it in popular app stores, increasing the global ShoZu user community. At the same time, ShoZu benefits from a steady revenue stream, providing stability for the company and helping fund next-generation features for the ShoZu service.

“We’re working hard to keep ShoZu in the lead,” he said. “We offer consumers more. We’re proven by many thousands of users. We work on more handsets and deliver our users’ photos, videos and content to more popular destinations more easily.”

About ShoZu

ShoZu is an intelligent social media hub currently used by people worldwide to enrich connections with the people in their lives by effortlessly exchanging video, pictures and commentary between mobile devices and favorite social networks, photo sharing sites and information resources. The company’s patented technology provides fast, easy, one-click uploads of photos and video clips from the mobile to the Web, full-resolution photo and video delivery without compression, an emerging suite of services that push content to the phone, the ability to work in the background even if a connection is dropped, and other unique features that simplify and enhance the user experience. The company was founded in 2000 and has formed partnerships with some of the leading players in the mobile ecosystem, including Motorola and Samsung. For more information, visit www.ShoZu.com/AboutUs.

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