As far as its worldwide strategy is concerned, Microsoft has steered clear of the microblogging universe, although it did manage to embrace Twitter tightly with Bing search. In this regard, China is the exception that confirms the rule for the Redmond company. This because Microsoft has just unveiled a new service in China which offers functionality similar to that of Twitter. Dubbed Juku
, the new offering is associated with MSN China and is powered by Windows Live Messenger. (via PCWorld
According to the official description of the service, MSN Juku is designed to provide end users with a parallel world to Windows Live. MSN users will be able to share pictures, videos, and links with their friends, but also alert contacts as to additional exciting content and websites they come across on the web. Essentially, with Juku, Microsoft China attempts to capitalize on the intersection of microblogging with social networking.
Juku is, after all, built under the same concepts as social networks, and the 140 character limit to the messages that users can post make it a microblogging service. "Juku is a local innovation developed by MSN China based on Windows Live Messenger networks," a Microsoft spokesperson noted. At this point in time, there’s no word from Microsoft on whether Juku will outgrow China. The Redmond company has not delivered any indication that it intends to internationalize Juku.
Earlier this year, Microsoft debuted Vine
, a social network which was immediately interpreted as a Twitter challenger. However, at that time, the software giant came out and indicated that it regarded Vine as complementing existing social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook, and not as an alternative to them. In fact, even with Vine, Microsoft ended up embracing third-party social networks, such as Facebook, just as it continues to do with Windows Live.