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.
- 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
- 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%.
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.