PCMAN – Not giving up on conquering the social media world, Microsoft has announced that they will be using existing services like Skype as their social mechanisms.
This gesture includes adding a sharing button to Skype, as a method to pass along intriguing content and begin conversations upon the topic. Apart from that, Microsoft has also launched Journal, a blogging platform that uses Microsoft’s Sway tool to host content.
The Skype integration steps couldn’t be made easier, users only need to click on the Skype icon, select a contact from their list of friends, and Skype will share the content via Skype message. Microsoft will also put the button alongside its MSN content on sify.com, and encourage third parties to add their own Skype buttons.
This is an important gesture for Microsoft because by placing the Skype sharing button along with Facebook and Twitter icons on MSN-powered content, Microsoft is placing Skype as a social network with millions of users. Microsoft would like the users to rethink the assumptions of Skype being a social network the way telephone is a social network—it connects friends and family that has evolved into more of a utility.
From so.cl to Journal
Microsoft launched so.cl in 2012, an odd hybrid of Pinterest and Instagram, where images are the main conversation, and users can post and share their pictures. It was a small, intimate group of friends sharing pictures and other content. It is almost a private network, probably caused by its failure in approaching targeted users.
This inspired Microsoft to create Journal, a blogging platform that collaborates with Microsoft’s light content-creation tool: Sway and Docs.com. Sway is one of the new tools embedded within Office 2016, where the app allows the user to create content that combines texts, photos, documents, typically hosting them in the Microsoft Cloud. They repositioned Sway as a blogging tool, complete with stats and analytics on Docs.com.
Originally, Microsoft launched Docs.com in 2010 as a way to share Office documents through Facebook and its own sharing portal. However, as sharing became integrated with the Office apps themselves, Docs.com became unnecessary. Journal has a mission to change all that.
The main idea is to log into Docs.com with a Microsoft ID, and launch a Sway post as a Journal. Chris Pratley, the general manager of Sway, said that Sway could be used as a public blogging or online essay tool.
Bottom line, this collaboration is still considered as experimental, and further explorations need to be done by Microsoft to find its firm feet.