Is there room for another social network? We’ll soon find out now that Microsoft has released their new social network project to users. Socl has been in beta testing for Microsoft employees until now.
The Microsoft Socl is a new style of social network. It has been compared to Pinterest. The landing page for Socl is filled with images, which is a departure from the original design.
Anyone is able to sign up for Socl now. They can create a post by using content from the Web and organizing it into a collage. They can use links, photos, or videos to create their own unique design. The content is easy to find either from randomly generated items or a search for topics to produce interesting images and links to look at.
A comment on others’ posts is called a riff. You can also share links with others. You will notice right away that this site is more image-oriented than other networks such as Facebook.
Socl does not seem like a direct competitor to Facebook since it is so different. Rather than connecting people with their friends, it focuses on browsing links and photos. Even Microsoft admits it is not in the same category as other established networks. They label it as an “experimental research project.”
Microsoft is attempting to update itself with new hardware such as the Surface, along with updated software and search engines with Windows 8 and Bing. Now it is trying out its own version of a social network with Socl.
The question remains if Microsoft can prove that it understands the wants and needs of today’s users. Or is it still out of touch with what people in the 21st century expect in a product? Whether Microsoft can shed its old school image may depend on the success with Socl.