Microsoft is going to let marketers and advertisers dip their toes into the social stream. The tech giant is planning to launch a new social media product, dubbed “Looking Glass,” which will let marketers aggregate and monitor social media platforms for brands and companies. According to a report by Ad Age today, the product is still in “proof of concept” stage and will be privately distributed to testers in the coming month. Microsoft’s advertising blog also mentions the new product.
Looking Glass will aggregate feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other social media sites and will also be able connect with CRMs, databases, service centers and more. In terms of analysis, the product will track sentiment of content but it’s unclear what other data analysis and features the application will have. Looking Glass will be browser-based and powered by Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. And unsurprisingly, all data collected by Looking Glass will be integrated with Microsoft’s Sharepoint and Outlook products. In fact, the product’s functionality may be limited for a business that isn’t using Microsoft’s enterprise suite.
That tidbit isn’t too big of a surprise, considering other platforms, like Salesforce, offer social monitoring and engagement services that are attached to their software. But it seems like Microsoft is pretty late in the “stream monitoring” game. There are plenty of startups out there like Viralheat, PeopleBrowsr, Socialseek and more that offer freemium platforms that do the same thing as Looking Glass. Not to mention that Salesforce just launched an incredibly powerful version of its Service Cloud, with Twitter and Facebook features integrated within the platform.
The other piece of the puzzle is if Looking Glass will have real-time functionality. That’s definitely where the future of social monitoring is, so it would make sense that Microsoft would add this into the product. We’ve contacted Microsoft about this question; we’ll update the post with more info when we hear back.
UPDATE: Looking Glass will have real-time functionality says a spokesperson for Microsoft.
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