Microsoft enters social networking arena with So.cl
With Facebook attracting all the attention with its IPO listing last week, followed by Zuckerberg’s marriage and news of Twitter being blocked in Pakistan, Microsoft quietly ventured into the social networking space with the launch of So.cl.
As described by Microsoft in its earlier blog post, the social website was initially an experimental research project that was under trial by select university students in December last year. It is now open to all. Users can use their Facebook or Windows Live accounts to login.
So.cl (pronounced social), a project that comes out of Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, is designed in a way that combines search and sharing. It is targeted at the academic research crowd to allow students to share links with followers. It looks to combine features from other social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ with tweaks of its own.
So.cl users can comment, tag, share and "riff" posts, a new feature introduced by Microsoft to allow users to add more information to posts by other So.cl users. Currently there is no way of uploading photos on the site, but Microsoft says the feature will debut soon. Also, instead of liking a post, users can smile at others’ posts.
Users can share "rich posts" with interesting images and links from the web, which are then assembled automatically by So.cl into a visual montage. Another feature is the ability to host video parties where users can search, assemble and share videos with others. Users can also share links with fellow So.cl users with the bookmarklet feature by adding the ‘Share on So.cl’ button to the bookmarks toolbar.