Looking to Make Mobile Browsing Better
It’s another sign that Internet companies are preparing for a more mobile world: Akamai (AKAM), a company that helps move much of the content on the Web to consumers, is buying a start-up that customizes Web sites for mobile devices.
Akamai is best known for storing content like video on its servers, which are located closer to households and can get the data to users more quickly. It is buying the 20-person start-up, called Velocitude, because many of the sites that use Akamai want their content to get to phones as well as PCs.
The Velocitude deal will allow Akamai to detect what type of phone a user is on and automatically configure the site to appear properly on that phone, said Tom Leighton, Akamai’s co-founder. Customized mobile versions of websites have been around for years, but Akamai says it will be able to combine this customization with its ability to speed delivery of data to allow for more complicated sites. The configuration can be vastly different from an ordinary site, making the browsing experience on the phone more like using an app.