Can Microsoft compete with Twitter as a source for social news?

The short answer is, “No.”

Microsoft introduced a new app called Social News, which is designed ostensibly to allow all of the would-be citizen journalists to post breaking news content and share it with the world. I wrote a blog post for TechRepublic that outlines a few reasons this app is just doomed to fail:

There’s a new app available from Microsoft called Social News. It seems like a worthwhile concept, but unfortunately, it’s all but guaranteed to fail.

Right now, the app is in beta. The Windows Phone store describes it, “Social News is a service designed to help you to create and share interesting stories. Report interesting local events or cool new things to your friends, people around you and beyond together with our professional media partners.”

The app lets users create and publish their own news content — including photos and videos. There are supposedly also some professional media partners that will issue requests for stories on breaking news, so the story you create in Social News might be shared through news media channels. In addition, Social News gives users the ability to find local events and stories through a map view or easily view the most liked and commented stories.

All of that sounds pretty cool. So, why is Social News doomed to fail? There are a couple reasons.

First, all of these features and functions should sound familiar. Social News is attempting to do essentially the same thing we already use Twitter and Facebook for. Twitter has established itself as the primary means of quickly sharing breaking news, and the Trends feature on the Twitter website enables you to see what topics are hot in your area or among those you follow. Facebook fills a similar niche when it comes to posting photos, videos, and sharing information about local events and news with others.

CNN is one of the largest news networks in the world, and it already does the citizen journalist thing through its own channels. The CNN website and mobile app invites users to contribute stories and seek their 15 seconds of fame. CNN also posts iReport assignments to invite submissions on specific topics it wants to cover. Of course, this is just one example — many other cable, network, and local news channels now offer similar programs to allow average citizens to be armchair journalists.

Read the full story at TechRepublic: Microsoft’s new Social News app is doomed to fail.

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