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Social media dashboard Seesmic launched its new social media dashboard, Look, at an event today in New York City. We already wrote about Look, but at today’s event we learned new details on partnerships with Red Bull, Kodak, and the Huffington Post partnering to create customized content channels featured in Look.
Seesmic might have found a potentially lucrative business model by selling interactive advertising space to brand marketers.
“Realtime is the new primetime,” social marketing firm Edelman Digital’s director of insights Steve Rubel remarked in his keynote.
Look is an attempt to simplify social media consumption for the masses, creating a viewing environment appealing to advertisers and content creators. As content creation grows at staggering rates, Seesmic is attempting to make Look both a social media dashboard and aggregator.
The San Francisco company teamed with Microsoft’s startup division BizSpark to create the product, with Seesmic getting early access to elements of the Microsoft development platform. Twitter was also involved in the product design and technical aspects, with Look including a “Powered by Twitter”banner on the lower left corner of the application. A broad departure from previous iterations of Seesmic, Look’s interface and content channels reduce the clutter and makes it easy for users to browse content, including prominently placed content created by brand advertisers.
Twitter’s direct involvement in Look’s creation speaks to Twitter’s focus on expanding its userbase to the masses and creating for brand marketers to reach these users. With Twitter’s growth slowing to about 3.5% per month, Look is an attempt by both Twitter and Seesmic to allow people to pull in passive consumers and make them active. Look doesn’t require a Twitter account and can be utilized via desktop, tablet computer and the TV. Founder Loic Le Meur indicated that previous Twitter clients were too complicated for widespread adoption. “We started to think with Microsoft a good number of months that these products aren’t right for people on the street, people watching CNN… ‘normal people’.”
Look is currently available on Windows and is compatible with Windows 7 tablet computers. A Mac version will be available after Microsoft launches its new Silverlight offering, with Le Meur indicated the product could be ported to the eagerly awaited Apple tablet. While not as rich as Look, a new Seesmic iPhone app will be submitted to Apple by the end of the month, with Android and Blackberry versions are also in the works. Le Meur also noted that Look is API based, so other Twitter clients like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Tweetiecould eventually utilize many of the Look’s features.
While brands included in the current incarnation did not pay for placement, Le Meur told me after the presentation that new paying clients would be added in the next few months.
“I can finally tell my partners what their business plan should be,” he said.
Several brands approached Le Meur following the launch about becoming Look partners, including representatives from concert promotion giant Live Nation. Look channels can be created quickly, as Kodak beginning work on its channel after Le Meur demoed the product for them at CES this month, according to Kodak chief blogger Jennifer Cisney. The Kodak channel includes the Twitter feeds of Kodak employees, prominent photographers and video producers in an attempt to create a community for a niche of people who might purchase Kodak cameras. While none of the content was revolutionary, Look allows casual users to find and consume tweets.
Potentially more than just interactive infomercials, Look channels have the capacity to create a new Twitter ecosystem by aggregating content that engages with consumers, and in turn connects them to the brand which provided the content.
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