Microsoft introduces Socl, a new social networking which looks more like Pinterest than Google Plus or Facebook. Microsoft’s Socl allows people with similar interest to connect and share videos, images and web pages that they all enjoy real-time. Socl also aims to improve the searching ability of users and improve their communication skills.
Socl presents an online gallery where users can share content, much like Pinterest. It was developed by the Fuse Labs research team of Microsoft. The original market of this new social network was students, or those who would like to create and share visual collages.
The new social network was tested for one year, and now it is already revamped and available to anyone who would like to share their interests with their friends.
Essentially, Socl uses Bing search technology to put together videos and images into an online collage. Content in these collages can be liked, shared, tagged and commented on much like Facebook. They can even be posted to other social sites. Furthermore, there is a “riff” feature which is similar to retweet by Twitter.
The main difference between Socl and Pinterest is the search feature that Socl incorporates. Using Bing, you type in your interests in a search box and entries will appear which you can decide to share with others. Critics are saying, however, that since Bing is much less powerful than Google, then the items that you can choose from to share to your Socl friends are limited as a consequence.
Signing up in Socl can be done directly or through your Twitter or Facebook account. You can invite Twitter and Facebook friends to join you in Socl by sending an invite or sharing your Socl posts to these other social networking sites.
One feature in Socl is the ability to create and join Parties; a place in the social networking site where users can chat and make video view lists. This feature slightly resembles that of Google Plus’ Hangouts but with fewer features and functionalities. In general, Socl has a more attractive layout compared to the pinboards of Pinterest. As such, it does not aim to be a substitute to Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook.
Indeed, social networking has developed so much over the years that the big players are now recognizing its importance in the commercial realm. The effect of Socl, however, remains to be seen as it is a new entry to an already packed social space.