Microsoft Clarity takes on Google Optimize and Analytics

Giles Ensor avatar. By: Giles Ensor
3 minute read
Clarity

Home » News » Microsoft Clarity takes on Google Optimize and Analytics

I am not sure why tech companies keep trying to jump on the success of other tech companies. A couple of examples that spring to mind. Google+, which started because of Facebook, and failed miserably. And Microsoft EdgeHTML, which was developed to counteract Chrome’s dominance, and failed miserably.

Now Microsoft is going to try to challenge Google Analytics and Google Optimize with Microsoft Clarity. Will this go the way of Edge, or will we finally have an alternative to Google Analytics?

What is Microsoft’s Clarity?

Good question. Sadly, while the website is active, there is very little information there. I tried to put in a website I own and got the following message below:

Clarity Pending Approval

So, not exactly an auspicious start as on the homepage of Clarity, it clearly states, “As soon as you sign in with any of your Microsoft accounts, you will be prepared to add Clarity to your website in a matter of seconds.”

Maybe seconds mean a different thing in Microsoft land, but when using Google Analytics, my sites are ready to go in actual seconds. I doubt Clarity is going to be knocking on Google Analytics’ doors any time soon if people have to wait for their sites to be approved.

In Microsoft’s defence, in the FAQs they have responded to, “Can anyone sign up? Are there any restrictions?” with, “Since we have just released this as a beta product, we are onboarding users based on our ability to provide a great and seamless experience.”

However, according to the Bing blog about Clarity, it looks like this wait period will be a permanent feature. This is a bad idea. I have to wait for Bing to email me to tell me my site has been approved?

Well, since I only have a Hotmail account because I use Windows, and I have not checked my Hotmail email in at least 5 years, I’m going to be one of the first to say that if Microsoft doesn’t get rid the wait time and email approval, it’ll become an issue.

More details about Clarity

Having said all that, the website may not be very active, but you can find more by going to the Bing blog. Here is the link again. And I have to say that in some ways, Clarity sounds quite good. One thing that I reckon will be very useful is the ‘session replay’, where you will be able to see exactly what visitors do on your website, and more importantly, where they are when they leave.

If you see a pattern emerge, where many visitors abandon your website after reading a particular paragraph in a post, for example, you can then take a look at the offending paragraph to find out what is causing people to leave.

As Bing points out, “Being able to replay users’ mouse movements, touch gestures and click events allows you to empathize with users and understand their pain points.”

Wrapping it all up

There is a lot more information. If you head over to the blog about Clarity, you can read more cool stuff. There is also a video that gives you an idea of what Microsoft is trying to do.

To be honest, I hope Microsoft succeeds with Clarity. There is a general rule of thumb that a dominant player in any market is a bad idea for consumers. Let’s hope Clarity is a success, if for no other reason than to be an alternative to Analytics.

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