Microsoft opens up So.cl to a limited number of students

Microsoft is entering the social networking business with a new system that's aiming for the college student demographic. The company has announced that the So.cl (pronouned "social") service is now live but only for a limited number of students. At the moment, only student enrolled at the information and design schools at the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University can use So.cl but more schools will be added in the near future

The Microsoft Research blog site has more information on So.cl, which is a product of the company's FUSE Labs. It states:

So.cl has been designed for students studying social media to extend their educational experience and rethink how they learn and communicate. They can build posts with many elements—photos, video, text, and more—and share them with colleagues. They also can find students with similar interests and build communities around specific educational goals. So.cl might even give students the ability to create their own social tool, customized for their own community.

The So.cl service is not designed to be a replacement for other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. One of the creators of So.cl, FUSE Labs' Lili Cheng, stated, "We expect people to continue using their favorite social network and search tools, and we hope that, by experimenting with how search and social networking can be combined, more people experiment with tools we already take for granted."

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14 Comments

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I think this is the approach Google should have taken with Google+ because almost every new Google website has failed in the end since they became masters of the internet. They expect their products to be almost finished on launch but really website don't just pop out of the blue they often need years of maturity.

Their own popularity is their own downfall, I would take out the google name, develop a good product and mature it under a smaller audience and hear all the feedback.

Google+ just doesn't fell complete to me like Twitter or Facebook.

Limited to students in the intial stages you say? Hmm, this is giving me FlashBacks...

Microsoft problem here is that students can more than easily form groups on Facebook or share circles on Google+, and then you have a social network for these groups of users already. Students can even study in video together on Google+ Hangouts. Let's see what they can offer in addition to networking features for people sharing a common interest. Because we already have that. Twice.

Tried to sign up, but on IE10 and FF it just redirected me back to the homepage O.O Chrome sent me to a site saying that they'll send me an invite soon

derekaw said,
As usual MS want to get in on the action and are horribly late.

Are you just posting a MS troll post to a random MS news item without reading the article or knowing what you're commenting on ? cause it seems like it.

It would be quite neat if they managed to take over the social for College and Universities then stuck to it unlike Facebook. Simple name as well, I like it. Has to be a good service though.

I am emailed and got an invite to my student address within 5 minutes, looks quite good actually, like it says in this post it won't replace FB or Twitter though

I'm actually really impressed, especially since it's just an add-on to facebook and it isn't trying to create an entirely new network.

este said,
Sounds like this is what Facebook should have stayed like.

So, you're saying it would have been a good thing if I was unable to get an FB account yet? I got my FB account as a high school freshman & I am still only a junior. I would have hated it if I would miss out on the social network's awesomness...

MASTER260 said,

So, you're saying it would have been a good thing if I was unable to get an FB account yet? I got my FB account as a high school freshman & I am still only a junior. I would have hated it if I would miss out on the social network's awesomness...

Well, to be fair the only reason you like it as a junior is because you have other juniors to connect to. This wouldn't happen if Facebook was still college only.