MSN now has Jaku for China!

msn_logoA new micro-blog-style service has been launched by Microsoft in China, which is based on Windows Live Messenger and it actually tends to expand the social-networking functions which are linked to the chat software, in a country where it is considered to be a hit.

This new service, which is so called MSN Juku, is beta versioned; it enables a user to post 140-character long messages to an update screen which slowly scrolls old messages to the right. MSN Juku automatically links its users with their Live Messenger contacts, whose updates also appear on the scrolling timeline. The posts are also heaped ‘top-to-bottom’ and they display only the first few words when they appear close together. Whereas by pointing the condensed message with the cursor; enables you to see its full version.

MSN China, which is a joint venture project with the Microsoft, claims that the newly developed product is not a micro-blog service. According to one of their local company representatives; Juku is a locally developed product by MSN China, he says in his email. Despite of that, Juku is pretty much similar enough to a micro-blog site, which one of the local media reported to be a “bandit” version of Plurk; a Twitter like service which is popular in Asia. The Chinese term which is used for the adjective “bandit” is slang for a product which is similar to that of an established brand, and moreover is frequently used to describe knock-off mobile phones.

This particular newly launched MSN service also enables its users to play simple games online and earn different prizes such as free new face icons to post in their messages. Moreover the users can upload any profile picture, visit the pages of other users and can add them in their friend’s list. Several social networking sites which are similar to Twitter-style; have emerged in China in the past few months and are increasingly getting popular. Around 124 million people or one out of the three Chinese internet users use social-networking sites in accordance with the country’s domain registry agency. The fame of Micro-blogging specifically, is also burgeoning; though twitter and some of its other Chinese competitors have been blocked by the country’s Internet authorities for several months. About half of the China’s social-network users tend to post micro-blog entries online; at least once a day and according to the domain registry. Though the figure normally comprise of the messages which are quite similar to the statuses updates, which are, or can be send on the Facebook.

“This newly known MSN service is an effort by Microsoft to attract more people to be part of their social-networking products as well as the instant-messaging service”; says Ashley Liu, who is an analyst at In-Stat. The Microsoft Windows Live Messenger is quite popular in China, especially amongst the office workers, but their knocking competitor’s instant-messaging program ‘QQ’ is also being widely used and has expedited by adding value added services to their offer. Tencent, the QQ CEO has succeeded in gaining the competitive edge with his major success in selling the users, upgrades to their accounts and virtual goods, such as weapons for online games. It is seen that the users appear to be unable to buy the virtual goods on the new MSN service. Although Microsoft may be trying to profuse its innovation pertinent to social networking into the relative market just to lower its dependence on its instant-messaging service in China.

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