Microsoft Want You to Get Socl

logoLast December, Microsoft opened up registration for its own social network Socl http://www.so.cl to users with Microsoft and Facebook accounts. They had beta tested it with Microsoft employees and college students before that. As social networks go, it's more Pinterest than Facebook or Google+. The landing pages are photo collages.

Will it compete with Facebook? I don't think it was designed to compete. It comes from Microsoft Research FUSE Labs. I read that their research was in social search with students and more related to learning. I don't see how that research led to Socl which seems to a service where people connect/follow others over shared interests via image collages. In other words, it's Pinterest.

I could mock Microsoft for that but on their own Socl "About" page, they say that Socl is not designed to compete with the established social networks. They describe it as an “experimental research project with a minimal set of features.”

One of those features is “parties” which lets groups participate in online "video viewing parties." It's no Google+ Hangouts but I do see a similar strategy with Socl to what Google is doing with Plus. Both companies are trying to create a cross-platform ecosystem where all the parts are connected. Google has had some success with that. Some. Can Microsoft connect their mail, Bing, Socl etc. across hardware (Surface tablets) and software (Windows 8)?


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