Microsoft is planning to launch a social media monitoring tool – that allows users to aggregate social media feeds from Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and more into a single interface. Dubbed “Looking Glass” the service will be tested over the coming months for a presumed launch in the Winter.
Early indications are that it includes automated sentiment detection but it’s not known what further analysis tools and features are offered. It’s designed to plug into MS Outlook and Sharepoint products, of course, so that’s likely to limit it’s value to Internet users of other persuasions.
Looking Glass will provide integration features for popular CRM’s and databases, so “in theory”, you’ll be able to track social media comments all the way to your bottom line. This is where lots of the SMM companies are looking today – including Radian6, and Market Sentinel in the UK – as they try to move beyond the criticism of providing interesting facts without nailing ROI.
According to TechCrunch the new Microsoft service will offer real-time functionality – i.e. one that instantly reports on relevant posts and comments, as opposed to running periodic or manually instigated checks to review recent data. TC deems this to be the future of social media monitoring, though in our view it feels like just a logical extension of where we’re at today. Surely integrating social media monitoring into the very fabric of companies – the workflows and strategies – is a more radical and interesting prediction of the future of SMM.
We’ll be discussing this and other issues at Monitoring Social Media 09 (MSM09)