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MSN Jumps Into (Chinese) Social Media

by Team Caffeine · 0 comments

lori r taylor, revmediamarketing, social media, social media marketing, branding, product branding, networking, oneclicksocietyGoogle+ Has Started Something

When Google announced it was again trying to enter the social media market everyone assumed Microsoft would make a similar announcement.
They didn’t.
When Google+ showed signs of sudden success, analysts expected MSN to take the plunge, too.
They didn’t.
Instead, MSN has done what once only Richard Nixon could do: They went to China.

Renren Is Exploding
Renren is the answer to social media in China. While Facebook and Google has both faced opposition from Chinese officials concerned with too much freedom online, Renren,a Chinese social media company, has been expanding rapidly by staying within the Chinese government guidelines. Over the past several months MSN has been in negotiations with Renren. This week MSN announced it was partnering with Renren across a range of platforms including social media, instant messaging and more.

China remains the market everyone is wanting a piece of. With more than a billion potential customers (and growing) China remains one of the worlds most lucrative potential markets. Microsoft has finally gained a toe-hold in the social media landscape there, not by forcing itself on the people, but by partnering with an existing successful in-country social media company.

Social media marketers everywhere will likely be watching this partnership very closely to see just how soon they can leverage the deal to their own advantage.

Last month, there were rumblings throughout the blogosphere that Microsoft might be covertly developing a social network under the code name “Tulalip.” In my previous post, titled, “Is Tulalip Microsoft’s Seward Folly,” I theorized that Microsoft might be reacting to the sudden popularity of Google+ and its own obvious omission from the playing field.

Already, with an albeit small foothold in China, MSN China has made overtures to partner with Baidu, China’s answer to Google. So it made sense when news broke out of Shanghai on August 24, that Renren had also acquiesced to MSN’s advances and would be signing an agreement to collaborate on joint social networking initiatives.

According to an MSN press release, the two firms will share a wide range of applications and services across both of their platforms, including instant messaging, unified account log-in, content synchronization, and the ability to search for new followers.

When Renren entertained an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in early May, forecasters thought their opening bid of $US14 would ramp up significantly in the short-term. Unfortunately, they were wrong as the stock fell to an all-time low of US$6.78 on June 16. When the economy received another blow during the US’s debt ceiling debates, it has had a hard time scaling back up to double digits. However when the MSN/Renren agreement hit the airwaves, as of closing on August 24, the stock ended the day at US$7.38 (for more on this topic, see my previous post titled, “China’s Facebook Launches Social Credit Card While It Slides On Stock Exchange.”)


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Team Caffeine

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