Wallop – Microsoft’s MySpace?
Microsoft funded Wallop is preparing to launch in an effort to enter Microsoft into the “hey MySpace, we’re cool too” category along with Orkut & 360. Despite Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington saying that Wallop is not another “me too” social networking offering and CNET claiming that “the Wallop approach will center on trying to help people find ways of expressing themselves online that more closely match the way they interact in the real world. Photos, videos and other user-generated content are a part of the company’s approach.“; I believe it’s going to be a bit difficult for Microsoft’s Wallop to shed the “Johnny Come Lately” image.
Greg Sterling adds that “Wallop” means “to beat soundly; thrash.” If that’s what Wallop aims to do to MySpace and the myriad other social networks launching almost daily it will have to fulfill against the high expectations of the marcomm above.
Launching later this year, Wallop solves the problems plaguing current social networking technologies and will introduce an entirely new way for consumers express their individuality online. For example today’s social networks have difficulty enabling people to interact in a way similar to the way they would in the real world.
I also wonder if Wallop is going to follow Friendster or Orkut suit and attract a totally different audience than originally intended : Friendster is popular among Filipinos and Orkut is something around 80% Brazilian and is fueling the direction of Google in the vibrant Brazilian Internet market.
Which country or counter culture will embrace Wallop?
And what do I think about social networking and MySpace (outside of its marketing appeal), this clip of a Daily Show episode which I found on YouTube helps to sum it up: