Microsoft launches social media phone, KIN
By: Jennine Jacob

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This morning, the powers that be at Microsoft launched their new mobile device, geared toward social media using teens: KIN. Pocket size, cute, with an super clean user interface, that makes everything easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace,  I attended the launch in San Francisco, as they unveiled the need for a tool for the new generation of ‘life casters,’ who are deeply social and want to share everything with their friends online.

Pros

     

  • 8 megapixel camera with ‘powerful flash, more powerful than any other phone flash’.
  • Large touch screen, about iPhone size on the KIN two, slightly smaller on the KIN one
  • Easy navigation, beautiful interface
  • Nice transitions between Facebook and Twitter
  • Easy to share content with select people
  • The Studio : An online server that organizes your images and videos as well as hosts them on a time line.
  • They aren’t using AT&T
  •  

Cons

     

  • It heavily relies on three social media websites, one of them, MySpace is practically dead (When’s the last time you logged in? Anybody?)
  • There are no specific applications for blogging
  • No photo editing tools on the camera, you have to log into the Studio to edit photos.
  • The Studio, the online server of which the images and video are kept, the publicist could not confirm permanent access, meaning the terms of access have not been determined yet.
  • The slide out keypad seems ridiculous, do you really need a full QWERTY keyboard when you’re only leaving messages 140 characters or less? It seems like they are holding onto that so it doesn’t seem too much like the iPhone
  •  

KIN isn’t supposed to be a phone for bloggers, or adults really… Microsoft made it clear that KIN is for teens the 15-25 year old market, who have different needs than adults when it comes to smart phones. Adults have emails to send, spreadsheets to edit, phone calls to make, you know serious stuff. Young people text their friends, and use Twitter and Facebook? Teenagers and social media, that should be an easy target, however, it seems cliche… the fastest growth in demographics on Facebook last year were the 25-34 at 91% and the 35-54′s at 172% or the largest demographic  on Twitter which is the 18-34 set at 45% teens just make up 13%.

Twitter Demographics

Graph via Quantcast

The good thing about this phone though is the awareness that phones are used for social media. I find myself tweeting on the go more often than I tweet at my desk. There is no doubt that the web will have to become more mobile friendly, and mobiles will have to become more web friendly. The teen market seems to be the best place to convert would-be Apple junkies to the world of Windows, it’s an important move for Microsoft and I can certainly appreciate what they’re doing, but it’s still hard to grasp how blogging got left out of the social media equation.

Comments

  1. you’re twitter posts earlier today had me so interested in what this new phone had to offer.
    Its shocking to see that they didn’t have blogger’s in mind when developing it. It seems like if they were to invest so much time into making it conducive for social networking – that support for blogging platforms would be at the top of the list!

    i’m interested to see the response and user reviews once it’s in the market…
    .-= Eva // evoluer´s last blog ..Radley London // Pashley Give Away!!! =-.

  2. Loved your tweets from the event, and the pictures. It’s just another could-have-been, alas. One wonders who surrounds these launches and why there isn’t a cadre of users to input needs, and looks. Just another miss.
    .-= Madeleine Gallay´s last blog ..Jessica Simpson Is Just Naturally Beautiful =-.

  3. Wow! Did they mention which OS it was using? Windows Mobile 6 or something different? The way he used it looked rather similar to a demo of the new Courier I saw the other day.
    .-= Icy @ Individual Chic´s last blog ..I love my cowboy boots =-.

  4. Teresa says:

    still prefer the iphone ;)

  5. Considering stats on who the major twitter/facebook users are…it seems they may have missed the mark on this. When these demographics are so readily available, it makes me kind of wonder if they did any research before sending this idea to the factory. (And the MySpace thing makes me really wonder!)
    XO Piper
    .-= DailyDivaDish´s last blog ..Spring/Summer Scarves =-.

  6. I’ll stick to my BlackBerry. I rely heavily on email and my BlackBerry let’s me email quickly and on he go. I’m 22 and I still don’t think I”d like this phone.

    And there’s no Foursquare app…which makes me sad

    Though I heard that you can sync with Mac’s so I guess that’s a plus
    .-= MissWhoeverYouAre´s last blog ..Shoe Porn of the Week: Modern Vintage "Georgie" Platform Bootie =-.

  7. I find that the iPhone is fantastic with all these little apps, being able to do pretty much everything on the move is fantastic. You can attend to pretty much anything, anywhere, anytime! The future has arrived and I love it! :)

  8. Even given the demographics of whose internet use is rising, it makes sense to target a new product to teens because they’re going to have a greater buying lifespan. This should be important for Microsoft, because their company/products aren’t nearly as cool/sexy as Apple and their products. So if people are ever going to be as excited for a Microsoft/Windows product as they are for whatever Apple sells, they’re going to have to try to build loyalty early on.

    I’ve actually been watching a lot of “16 and Pregnant” on MTV lately, and it amazes me the amount of time the teenagers are spending on their phones (I tried to write that in a way that wouldn’t make me seem old and crotchety). Given that, as you said, other smartphones are made for adults who have more serious tasks at hand, it makes sense that they’d build a more “kid-friendly” product.
    .-= Adelle (the Fashionista Lab)´s last blog ..Everything old is new again =-.

  9. Retro Chick says:

    You know, the first thing I thought when I read “social media using teens” was “really?” because, like everyone else, I’m aware that the demographic show it’s not teens making most use of it.

    It seems like another attempt to challenge the iPhones dominance in this area, but I think the iPhones success is because it’s customisable, it doesn’t have to target a particular demographic as the apps mean you can make of it what you want. Give that 8mp camera with flash and I’d never carry anything else!

    (and MySpace? Really?)
    .-= Retro Chick´s last blog ..What Are You Wearing? Granny Chic =-.

  10. Veronica says:

    jennine,

    thanks for the post – great read

    QUESTION –
    so which smartphone do u think
    is currently the better one 4 bloggers?

    i have a need 2 buy a smartphone,
    hence, my question – is IPHONE the one 2 buy? – V.
    .-= Veronica´s last blog ..Twiggy London – Launched on HSN =-.

  11. While the phone seems neat, I actually like the full keyboard idea, the whole myspace thing make it seem dated. I do like the 8 mp camera. I wish someone would make a phone specifically for blogging with the tools bloggers need.
    .-= thefatandskinny´s last blog ..Bad Bish Goes Blonde! =-.

  12. K says:

    I was redirected to here from Myspace. Ha! :)

  13. Mikelle S says:

    I actually have a Kin, his name is Kendal. He is the second one I’ve had because the first, Ken had to be returned. Uhm Ken went berserk one day and decided not to connect to the internet any longer. This renders the phone useless to a blogger/pr person who lives through their phone. I had no contacts, I had no messages, no pictures, no call log… the phone is useless with no internet.
    The plus side is that it was mostly all backed up in the Studio but, once you deactivate the phone you can’t access your studio. When I got Kendal and connected him, he downloaded everything from the studio. I use him to update statuses, and the like and he really keeps me in the loop. The Loop tool on it is great for keeping up with a few blogs. I use it for picture heavy copy short blogs like The Fashionisto and Design Scene.
    All that being said, there are problems and whereas there was the promise of apps in the future production of the Kin has stopped so we are returning it for a Palm Pixi Plus.

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