Microsoft has responded to the huge popularity of video sharing site YouTube by launching its own user-generated video offering. Currently accessible on an invitation-only basis, Soapbox on MSN Video will match YouTube's functionality, allowing users to upload videos, rate them, and link clips to their personal web sites and blogs.
Microsoft said Soapbox differed in that the videos will be displayed in a slightly larger window and users can watch them in full-screen mode while playing.
The trial version is only available to Microsoft employees, and web users that have tested MSN products in the past. Microsoft has not announced a firm consumer launch date.
Microsoft is a late newcomer to the video-sharing market, dominated by YouTube, now serving more than 100m videos each day. The key issue for Soapbox, YouTube, and rivals Google Video, AOL Video and Yahoo! Video is how to monetise the web traffic they are attracting with new advertising formats.
Lovelace Consulting | 20.09.2006