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Microsoft's Social Network 'So.cl' Gets Quiet Public Launch

An experimental research project, So.cl was developed by Microsoft's FUSE Labs. Up until yesterday it was only available to students, but the site has been live since December. This past weekend, Microsoft extended availability to the general public.

Though it's definitely a social product, Microsoft isn't looking to take on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ with So.cl. Instead, the company is hoping to do something completely different. Microsoft describes So.cl as "an experimental research project focused on exploring the possibilities of social search for the purpose of learning." Users find and share interesting web pages with their networks as well as sharing 'rich posts' with montages of content. While the site can be used by the general public, Microsoft is targeting learning communities with this.

 

So how does it all work? Redmond says searches conducted through So.cl, which is powered by Bing, will be shared publicly by default:

"As students work together, they often search for the same items, and discover new shared interests by sharing links," the site reads. "We see this trend today on many social networks, such as Twitter, where shared links spread virally and amplify popular content. So.cl experiments with this concept by automatically sharing links as you search."

Additionally, users will be able to take links and images from around the web to create a 'rich post' or montage of information, as well as host video parties. Video parties allow users to make a playlist of videos to be watched as a group.

On the issue of privacy and who can see your search data, Microsoft says all of your search results and any other data posted to So.cl may be viewed by other users unless you mark it as private. Similarly, Microsoft will make publicly posted data 'broadly available' for use by third parties.

Signing into So.cl is done via Facebook or Windows Live. You can check it out here.

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  • atmos929
    suckle?
    Reply
  • commandersozo
    There's some girl on girl action in the screenshot. Deliberate, Ms. McEntegart?

    Ontopic: I wish Microsoft would stop putting money and time into market niches already conquered by their competitors.
    Reply
  • bustapr
    commandersozoThere's some girl on girl action in the screenshot. Deliberate, Ms. McEntegart?Ontopic: I wish Microsoft would stop putting money and time into market niches already conquered by their competitors.lol i bet so
    Reply
  • blurr91
    commandersozoThere's some girl on girl action in the screenshot. Deliberate, Ms. McEntegart?Ontopic: I wish Microsoft would stop putting money and time into market niches already conquered by their competitors.
    Well, if that's the case, then we wouldn't have the Xbox today. Sony owned the console market in 1999 with the PlayStation.

    I have no problem with private companies dumping money into experimental projects. The market will punish them...or reward them if the project is successful. That's how we get innovations.
    Reply
  • phamhlam
    A social network design for learning. I would love that rather than the filth on twitter and facebook people post. I rather hear interesting things then who got drunk and laid.
    Reply
  • Camikazi
    commandersozoThere's some girl on girl action in the screenshot. Deliberate, Ms. McEntegart?Well it is Katy Perry and well all know she kissed a girl and she liked it.
    Reply
  • _zxzxzx_
    Yay! Microsoft gets more of our information...
    Reply
  • kryzzay
    LOL at the girl on girl action.
    Reply
  • remorseless1
    CamikaziWell it is Katy Perry and well all know she kissed a girl and she liked it.

    agree wish bing wasnt the only search option as sometimes the results are not the best but the idea is brilliant for students and people who are key researchers
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    "As students work together, they often search for the same items, and discover new shared interests by sharing links,"

    also pr0n, answers to tests, and malware. Great learning potential indeed.
    Reply