Socl: Microsoft’s Secret Social Network in the Works

You didn’t expect the biggest name in technology to not come out with its own social network, did you? Although the billion-dollar corporation’s social search plans leaked this summer –initially named “Tulalip”– we’re now finding out that it’s the real deal. According to The Verge, “Microsoft has been testing this service with a select group of [‘friends’],” and is reportedly nearing the end of private testing.

Although Socl is currently considered a research project and it’s quite possible that it won’t ever be released as a mainstream product, it is rumored that it will still be publicly tested. So how does Microsoft’s foray into the social networking world separate itself from the long-standing competition? Essentially, it emphasizes social search, which Google has been trying to improve with its integrated +1 buttons. Socl pushes to make search a more social experience through the use of tagging. The site encourages users to ask their friends questions by making the default status update in the form of a question. Say you want some opinions on indie rock; type your query into the Bing bar on the top of the page to see what people are saying about that topic. You can then tag each post with phrases like “indie rock,” “The Black Keys” and so on. Friends will be able to see your tags and searches, and vice versa. It’s kind of like the lovechild of Twitter and Facebook.

In addition to the social search function, Socl has a “Party” feature that allows users to chat and watch YouTube videos together, just like Google+’s “Hangouts.”

As far as design is concerned, Socl predictably resembles a blend of Facebook and Google+. A stream of status updates (news feed) occupies the middle of the page, with a search bar at the top and categories and invitations on either side.

Although Microsoft swears it’s nothing, we expect Socl to be released by invitation-only soon. Facebook may be the reigning king of social networking, but with every new social media service comes a new opportunity to improve and expand your social media marketing campaign. If you’re not social media savvy and are searching for interactive marketing services, contact Blue Interactive Agency today. Blue also offers search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SEO copywriting and more. Call 954-779-2801 today for more information.