Microsoft Launches MSN Soapbox
Posted on September 21, 2006
Microsoft has announced the launch of a video sharing service called MSN Soapbox. Here are some of the features provided with Soapbox.
Easy uploading and sharing of video creations. By providing single-step uploading, background server-side video processing and acceptance of all major digital video formats, Soapbox makes uploading videos a snap. Finding and discovering the most entertaining videos. Viewers can search, browse through 15 categories, find related videos, subscribe to RSS feeds, and share their favorites with their friends - all without interrupting whatever video they are watching. Participation in the Soapbox community. Soapbox users can rate, comment on and tag the videos they view, share links with their friends via e-mail, and include the embeddable Soapbox player directly on their Web site or blog.
Those features are typical of most video sharing sites. Rafe Needleman at CNET's Web2.0 blog says Soapbox is dissapointing and not a threat to YouTube yet.
In sum, Soapbox is disappointing. It's a slightly better sharing service than YouTube in some small technical ways, but it doesn't help users make money from their content like Revver does; it doesn't have granular privacy controls like Vox; it won't post directly into blogs for you like VideoEgg; and it won't show videos from other networks like Yahoo Video. Given Microsoft's position in the video sharing market (dead last), I expected a more aggressive product.
MSN Soapbox is currently in an invitation beta mode. But you can watch a unique butterfly man disco dance.