Microsoft opens up So.cl social network to everyone

In December, Microsoft launched a new social networking service it called So.cl (pronounced "Social') as a kind of research project. So.cl was limited to a small audience base when it launched; specifically students from the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University.

Now Microsoft has decided to open up So.cl to anyone who wants to check it out. The company quietly turned on the public side of the So.cl website and it is now available to use, although technically Microsoft says it is still just a research project. You sign on to use the service via your Windows Live ID or your Facebook account. You also have to be 18 years of age and older.

You can choose to follow specific people in your So.cl news feed. You can also subscribe to different groups such as food, music, movies or games. You can also watch videos at the same time with other So.cl friends. Of course, you can post your own messages for your So.cl followers.

In addition to the long end user license agreement, users of So.cl also have to agree to a message that pops up before they can access the service.

So.cl is an experiment in open search. That means your searches on So.cl are viewable by other So.cl users and will also be available to third parties. So.cl does not automatically post your searches, comments, or likes to your Facebook stream unless you choose this option. Also, we don’t contact your Facebook friends unless you invite them.

The FAQ page for So.cl offers up other information on the service, including word that the project is still a part of Microsoft's FUSE Labs and is not associated with Bing. You can even purchase real world So.cl T-shirts for $26.95.

Image via Microsoft

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27 Comments

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i can't login with facebook, tells me they will send me an invite or something... is it really open to everyone or did they shut out people from joining now?

It's not that bad, to be honest. It's a mix of facebook+twitter etc.etc. Real time updates of searches, trends.

Privacy concerns might be huge, though. People can easily see whatever you're searching (from the bing search bar on the site) real time on their feeds.

But it's a nice concept. You can make multiple links and photos a part of your post. That's the best feature for me.

Innovative for sure. At least Microsoft is trying something new instead of just copying Facebook, like Google did. This is pretty cool so far.

Useless is all I can say. I care about what my friends are doing, not what everyone in the entire world is randomly searching for.

andrewbares said,
Useless is all I can say. I care about what my friends are doing, not what everyone in the entire world is randomly searching for.

That's what you care about, but others care about different things to you; to some, this is not useless

They haven't implemented frictionless sharing to Facebook (via the Open Graph)? Microsoft don't appear to want to do that with any of their products, even Windows 8 (from what we've heard so far); some of Windows 8's Microsoft apps would hugely benefit from Open Graph integration.

Edited by Calum, May 20 2012, 10:12pm :

Calum said,
They haven't implemented frictionless sharing to Facebook (via the Open Graph)? Microsoft don't appear to want to do that with any of their products, even Windows 8 (from what we've heard so far); some of Windows 8's Microsoft apps would hugely benefit from Open Graph integration.

What a second, WHAT?

Where have you been?

http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/...icrosoft-facebook-docs-com/
http://docs.com/

Even Bing.com uses Facebook Open Graph, along with Hotmail and Live.com

Windows Phone 7 uses Open Graph, and Windows 8 will be using Open Graph apps.

Recently - SkyDrive provides Open Graph as well...
http://windowsteamblog.com/win...rter-urls-with-sdrv-ms.aspx

Also...
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...ndows/desktop/ee388574.aspx

What is Microsoft NOT doing with Open Graph?

Edited by Calum, May 20 2012, 10:23pm :

thenetavenger said,

What a second, WHAT?

Where have you been?

http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/...icrosoft-facebook-docs-com/
http://docs.com/

Even Bing.com uses Facebook Open Graph, along with Hotmail and Live.com

Windows Phone 7 uses Open Graph, and Windows 8 will be using Open Graph apps.

Recently - SkyDrive provides Open Graph as well...
http://windowsteamblog.com/win...rter-urls-with-sdrv-ms.aspx

Also...
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u...ndows/desktop/ee388574.aspx

What is Microsoft NOT doing with Open Graph?


I'm talking about Facebook's current Open Graph that was released in September 2011: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/

I'm not talking about the early version of the Open Graph protocol, released in 2010: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraphprotocol/

I'm also not talking about their Graph API that was released in 2007: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/api/

You appear to be confused about the above three. Microsoft haven't yet released any products that implement the 2011 version of Open Graph, but they've released products that integrate the Open Graph protocol and Graph API. The latest version of Open Graph allows the social readers to automatically share what we're reading or the music apps to automatically share what we're listening to. Many of Microsoft's products could benefit from utilising this Open Graph, especially the Music, Video, and News apps in Windows 8. Socl could use it to share users' searches and other activity to their Timelines.

In future, before you post in such a rude manner, it would be best for you to ensure you understand what you and I are talking about. You clearly didn't here.

However you interprate this confusion, I didn't even state that Microsoft haven't ever used Facebook's Open Graph, which is what you appear to have somehow read. I stated that Microsoft haven't ever included the frictionless sharing (read: automatic sharing) that the Open Graph provides, in any of their products, and that is true.

Edited by Calum, May 20 2012, 11:40pm :

One main problem with this which is also the same as Google+. There is no instant chat as far as I can tell, only video chat.

Gaffney said,
One main problem with this which is also the same as Google+. There is no instant chat as far as I can tell, only video chat.

There is too. At least in Google+ there is. Always has been. They borrowed gmail chat.

I remember So.cl! I used it a couple months ago when the preview was first announced It's pretty nice, but it just got boring after a while :\