Monday, August 21, 2006

Microsoft Web 2.0

This interesting tidbit from Don Dodge at Microsoft:

"George Moore, GM of Windows Live, said there a 240 million Hotmail users, 230 million Live Messenger, 72 million Live Spaces, and 8 million mobile subscribers. He also said that at any given moment, 20 million people are simultaneously connected on Messenger and 5.7 billion messages are sent per day. Also there are 300 million F2F video conversations on Live Messenger every month. George also said Live Spaces is "now the largest blogging service on the planet". It grew to 30M accounts in its first 6 months."

:O. 72M Live Spaces users is pretty surprising. Currently Spaces ties together social networking, image hosting, blogging and a webtop experience. The webtop feels fairly function rich, and is reminiscent of Netvibes, if still a version behind that service. There seems to be less 3rd party content or web services to add to my Spaces page (though the beta page seems to have a bunch of 3rd party content available) . The social networking piece is also a bit raw (I was confused whether building 'my' space actually generated a social network profile or not). In terms of people search, for some reason the images are very small. Search results for 'friends' across age groups seem to fall below 50K users per search and the profiles themselves are fairly spartan, so it appears the social networking piece is still developing.

All that being said, this is a forward-thinking attempt at capturing social interaction across multiple channels (photo sharing and blogging seem very popular) and tying them together. With Messenger, Hotmail and blogging as its foundation, has a lot of room to grow. While beefing up the social networking functionality (via build or buy) seems like an apparent need, MS has an intriguing asset on its hands...


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