Is there demand for yet another social media monitoring tool? Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) seems to think so, saying it will begin testing a new web-based platform called LookingGlass next month, according to a report in ClickZ. LookingGlass monitors conversations on social media sites, including Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube, so that companies can track consumer sentiment about their products in real-time. The updates are also automatically rated as positive or negative, so that they can be parsed for trends.
Microsoft says it hopes that LookingGlass will drive sales of its enterprise products, since LookingGlass integrates with both Sharepoint and Outlook. The company also wants to increase the breadth of its offerings for advertisers. “We want to change the expectation advertisers have of Microsoft,” group product marketing manager Jeremy Tisdale tells AdAge. “We can do more than sell you advertising. We can help your business problems — we’re a bunch of geeks, let’s see what the geeks can do.”
The big question though is whether there will in fact be a demand for the product. After all, there are already a host of other companies offering varying degrees of social media monitoring tools. Then again, this is Microsoft, a company known for spending heavily to break into new markets, so it’s entry can’t be underestimated (Andy Beal, the founder of social media monitoring firm Trackur, encourages Microsoft to spend “millions” to “convince businesses they need to monitor the web” since that could actually get some people to also try out competing offerings like his own). More details in this post on the Microsoft Advertising Community blog.