Microsoft quietly launches ‘So.cl’ social networking website

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A screen grab of Microsoft's social networking website 'so.cl'. Photo - Moign Khawaja/ArabianGazette.com

Software giant Microsoft Inc has quietly launched its own social networking site named “So.cl” which would encourage members, especially students, to share links and information.

The world’s biggest software maker has been working on the project since last year which has been designed to give students the ability to network with their peers to share important research work.

However, the company insists it is not challenging Facebook or other social networking sites.

“FUSE Labs, ‘So.cl’ project is now accepting all users interested in joining the site. So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people,” a Microsoft representative told reporters.

The social network offer users to share rich information that contains images, videos and links. A standout feature of So.cl (pronounced ‘social’) is the ability to create “video parties” that allow users to search for and assemble videos they can share with other users.

Describing the application, Microsoft said: “So.cl combines search and social networking for the purpose of learning and is the latest experiment from FUSE Labs.” User can log into the site by using Facebook or Windows Live account.

Features of So.cl Networking Site

The features and apps in this new Microsoft So.cl are quite similar to Pinterest and Google+, in terms of design and populating the links. Strangely, it posts search request on a news feed so it is better to avoid any kind of explicit activity that might cause potential embarrassment.

The new networking site has a ‘bookmarklet’ feature which adds a “Share on So.cl” to users bookmark toolbars. Users can use this feature to share interesting website links with other users of the site. Along with sharing, commenting and tagging, users can also “Riff” on the post – which according to Microsoft – is a new way to interact and improvise the content.

However, Microsoft says it won’t post any So.cl users’ activity unless they opt in.

The new social networking site, earlier blogged as “experimental research project,” was made available to information and design schools at the University of Washington, Syracuse University and New York University.

With social networking site Facebook busy with its IPO listing and founder’s marriage, this is somewhat a surprise launch from Microsoft Inc.

Source: CNET, techradar.com

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