Microsoft’s Docs website has recently received its largest update since the online Office document editing service with Facebook integration was launched back in April of this year. In this update, the Microsoft Fuse Labs team focused on new social media services and have added the ability to post documents as the administrators of a Facebook page rather than just as a user.
This is a major addition to Docs.com and should make the service more appealing to many people; it was the most requested feature that people asked Microsoft to add to the service. Microsoft has categorized the new features to Docs as “natural experience that reveals itself when appropriate”, “seamless evolution of the social document lifecycle”, “shared ownership” and “seamless Facebook integration”.
The “natural experience that reveals itself when appropriate” means that if a user is not a Facebook page administrator, then this new update wont affect them immediately but will allow them to view documents shared on the pages they “like”. However, for page administrators, it will allow them to upload and save documents straight to a Facebook page’s wall, rather than on their own profile, in much the same way as adding photos to the wall, there will also be the option to add a “Docs” tab to a page. Documents shared by Pages will also appear in the “Friends Docs” on Docs.com.
Microsoft is also allowing collaboration between page administrators which they are calling a “seamless evolution of the social document lifecycle” with the ability to add new authors at any point to the document during its life time. The new update to Docs is said to be modelled on the way Facebook pages work in that all administrators are treated equally so that any administrator who is added to a document has exactly the same options and controls as all other administrators; shared ownership.
The updated Docs experience is claimed to “just work” and that it is as “seamless” as possible with no additional steps for users to complete for this update to take effect.
Microsoft is hoping that this new update brings more users to the service; after its initial launch the service has received little attention from bloggers, the press, etc. With this new feature, it will allow Facebook pages as a new way to provide content for people who “like” the page, it remains to be seen if providing documents will be the best way to share information with people on Facebook though. This update should also allow for new ways for people to collaborate, by creating a page that only a select group like and are administrators of, they can very easily work together and share details using both the power of the social network and of the Office Web Apps.
Microsoft has very kindly provided a walkthrough on how to use the new features in the form of a PowerPoint document.
Docs.com is a web service from Microsoft that allows users to read, edit, or create Office documents in the cloud through the Office Web Apps but which are integrated with many features of Facebook. Microsoft hopes to make Office more social and to entice more users to its online version of Office to give it a similar supremacy online to that which it has on desktops.