At last Microsoft has also dived in with its own version of a social networking site, So.cl (read as Social). Earlier this year, the So.cl network was accidentally leaked in July last year by Fusible. By that time, it was called Tulalip instead of Socl but very soon the name changed to So.cl. But then in November, 2011, it was officially announced by Microsoft that they will be launching the So.cl project very soon.
And now is the time when So.cl has been officially launched rather quietly by Microsoft. If you go to the So.cl page, you will see that you can register and login to socl by using your Windows Live ID or your Facebook account. Previously, Twitter was also there but it has been removed from the final version of socl.
So what is Socl? Is it meant to compete with other social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? In my opinion the answer is no. This is because Social is a project by Microsoft FUSE labs and it has been created mainly for students. Socl will give students a new way to learn and will make researching easier. You can read more about how Socl can help student be more productive. Basically the main purpose of Socl is to combine the power of social network along with search so that people may be able to find what they are looking for in an intuitive way and all in one place.
If you look at the FAQ page of Socl, Microsoft says that they are partnering with schools and universities in order to participate in their Socl experiment but everyone is free to join the network. If you want to join Socl, you just have to sign in with your Windows Live account or Facebook ID in order to register with Socl.
Socl works by creating a montage and assembling links, text, images videos etc to create a visually attractive and rich in multimedia webpage. Socl also provides a bookmarklet which makes it easier to publish content from any webpage to your Socl account directly. You can get the Socl bookmarklet here.
The friends feature is very similar to Facebook and Twitter. You can follow your friends. Following friends will make their posts available in your feeds. If you like any post, you can like it, share it or comment on it.
You can create new pages by entering a topic and then building the page with links, text, photos and videos.
What are your thoughts about this new social network? Will you be using it or at least trying it? Will you be using Socl in favor of Facebook, Twitter or Google+? I think Socl will grow bigger if it integrates all the other popular social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Otherwise, it will get a tough treatment like the social networking experimentation failures from Google.