Microsoft have launched their own social networking site so.cl ,which ties in with their launch of social interactions whilst searching that happened a couple of weeks ago. At this moment in time you can only sign-up if you’re a student and are put onto the waiting list and will be notified in due course.
Many of you may be thinking that this is just another version of Facebook or even Google+, which I think it looks a lot like but in fact Microsoft have come out and quashed these thoughts. “So.cl combines search and social networking for the purpose of learning and is the latest experiment from FUSE Labs,” Microsoft said in a description of the app. Users can log-in to the network with their Facebook or Windows Live accounts. Once logged in, users are presented with a variety of suggested topics of interest.
It however does appear that Microsoft have taken a couple of aspects from different social networking sites:
- Like Facebook, when it first started, the network is only for college students
- In a similar fashion to Pinterest, users can create boards that they can populate with links from Bing searches
- The design looks similar to Google+
- So.cl has a “bookmarklet” feature that adds a “Share on So.cl” button to users’ bookmarks toolbars, allowing them to share interesting websites with other So.cl users. Sounds a bit like Facebook’s like and share buttons right?
My initial thoughts, without using so.cl, are that this offers me nothing Facebook or Google+ don’t already offer. It would also publish my searches via so.cl and that is something I wouldn’t want a social network to do, I just find it a bit violating. Still I guess you wouldn’t be on so.cl if you wanted to search for something you didn’t want others to know about.
If you’re a student we would love to hear your thoughts about the social network. Would it benefit you on group projects? Would you even bother signing-up to use so.cl?