Looking Glass – Microsoft’s New Social Media Aggregator & Monitoring Tool For Businesses

7077.clip_image0014_thumb_4A5D586EToday, the folks at the tech giant announced a new proof-of-concept prototype monitoring tool which aims to help businesses organize and analyze their social presence on the web. Code-named “Looking Glass”, this platform enables companies to manage their social accounts effectively as they create advertising on major social networking websites.

By merging social media and advertising into one simple and easy-to-use platform, marketers are now able to listen to the conversation on the social web. They are able to track customer sentiment across an array of social media sites by grabbing a wide variety of feeds related to a specific topic from platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. One good example would Microsoft’s new Zune HD. In the past, the Zune HD marketing team would have to analyze statistics from Twitter search and this could be quite tedious unless San Francisco-based micro-blogging service sells data to Microsoft. However, with Looking Glass, they are now able to see what users are saying about the product in real time on Twitter, in a rich and impressive user-interface which displays graphs and statistics, all thanks to Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.

Using technology from Microsoft Research, Looking Glass automatically rates each posting as positive or negative, so the Zune HD team could rank comments according to sentiment and see how customers are responding to the product and the campaign to sell it. All these information are converted into pie-charts or line graphs which show them how well their campaigns are progressing.

Currently, it’s still in testing mode and will be opened to a small group of testers next month. (I have no idea when the full version will be released and whether it’s free to use or not.)

“If we at Microsoft can change the discussion from banner ads to how do you provide a rich, relevant experience on the Web, we can start having a better business conversation. With LookingGlass, and some of the other proof-of-concepts we’re working on, we’re taking a big step toward changing that conversation.”

In my own opinion, Looking Glass in indeed an amazing and wonderful creation. The collaboration feature which enables all team members to access the platform at once is pretty useful and it could help internal product teams quickly become aware of, and respond to, bugs in the products. With Looking Glass, I’m sure companies to effectively promote their campaigns on the social web effectively. Overall, Microsoft has done a good job in this platform as it makes adoption of digital media easier and pulls it more into the mainstream.