Microsoft has recently ventured in to yet another diversified field called the social networking or social media. Wide speculation started off after it accidentally launched a site called the socl.com; following which a new social networking site was launched called the ‘So.cl’ pronounced as ‘Social’. This site combines social media with Search functionality to improve learning experience among students. Users can sign-up with the service using the account credentials of either Facebook or Windows Live ID. As soon as they login to their account they are presented with a list of suggested topics of interests and more.
The main intention behind the development of this social networking site is to bring Bing search in to So.cl. It is not created to compete with other social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Linkedin but for the sake of the student community. Hence, users of So.cl can use this site for learning.
So.cl – A social networking site for students
Features of So.cl
It’s designed with three column layout- navigation tools on the left; invites and other options on the right; and a social feed in the centre
A box called ‘What are you searching for?’ is placed at the centre of each page to bring in search functionality of Bing, Microsoft’s search engine
It is mainly intended for educational purpose and hence there is very little possibility for personal interaction through messages or @replies
Much similar to Facebook’s recommend or share buttons, So.cl has a button called the ‘bookmarklet’ that adds up a “Share on So.cl” button to the bookmark toolbar of the user. This allows the user to share websites with other users on So.cl.
Commenting, sharing and tagging other user’s posts can be done just as you do on Facebook. Another feature called the ‘riff’ has been included to improve on the content
‘Video parties’ is a new feature introduced in So.cl that allows users to create a collection of videos. Users can assemble videos so that it can be shared with other users easily
Launched as an open search tool, all searches made by users will be visible to other So.cl users and to other third parties as well
So.cl user activity will be posted only if opted for, unlike Facebook
An invite will be sent to Facebook users only if So.cl users send one
Has a lot more features of Pinterest
Best suited for businesses, and to promote your website
You can follow people and also invite your friends
Smiley button can be pressed to give comment to some other’s posts
Extra images can be added by clicking on the ‘More’ button
Large pictures are arranged on the screen to make it standout from the rest
Home page of So.cl
In short So.cl can be described as a platform to,
Discover new topics ranging from anything to everything
Connect to people so that you can discuss with people and interact with them
Learn by sharing with what you have got so that it would be useful for others
With a bunch of social networking sites available currently, one needs to understand as to how well Microsoft can make So.cl popular among the student community. According to FUSE Labs, So.cl is an experimental research project that is focussed mainly to encourage learning experiences among younger generations. All of the above features discussed in this article promises to become popular if they are found to be extremely useful for end-users. Why not try it out for yourself and put in your comments below.
Bini is keen in identifying the best consumer deals, services and reviews of latest products, offers, and free samples in the market. She also reviews the different broadband packages available in UK. You can find her works at www.freeinuk.co.uk and www.broadbandsuppliers.co.uk.