Microsoft So.cl Review


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Matthew_Thepc

Hey Neowin,

Got an invite to So.cl a day ago and saw that no one had written a review of it :(

Anyways, So.cl is currently under maintenance (some server load problems or something), but when it comes back online I'd love to post some pics of it if anyone wants them.

Where does So.cl fit in?

So.cl isn't a Facebook killer (as has been said many a time by Microsoft), but it is pretty cool. It has following and hastags like Twitter does, and it has smooth transitions and an all-around sexiness like Google+. I personally feel that it's a lot better than Twitter (*gasp*), is about as good as G+, but not Facebook :/

Distinctive Features:

Of course there's the whole "What are you searching for?" which allows you to search Bing and then click on websites and pictures to be added to your 'search post' (quite montage-like, actually). That search post gets added to your followers feed and the "Everyone" feed as long as you don't have it set to "Private" (which is easily changeable by a click of a button next to the search box). There's also a simple post option; when you go to search something, you can click a button to switch it to 'post' mode. This makes your 'search' a post. You start off with 5 invites, but every now and then you'll get more. Video parties allow a group of people to watch YouTube HD videos (apparently there was some problem with SD, but they're trying to fix it) and chat about them in real-time. You can share posts to Facebook (as in, you can click on any post and then "Share to facebook"), get embed code, edit your posts, or get permalinks to posts.

Large drawbacks:

Small group of users. Also, you're locked into Youtube HD (which doesn't run nicely on slow internet connections) and Facebook login (many workplaces and schools block Facebook). Unlike Facebook & G+ there's no way to chat (without being in a Video Party, of course), and there's no app platform or API. There's also a list of requests and problems that are just small things. To see them, search for the tag "Feature Ask" on So.cl.

Misc. Notes:

The notification system is kind of wacko...altho there are settings for when you get notifications in your inbox, on the So.cl website sometimes you get them, sometimes you dont, and sometimes they're extremely delayed.

You can use So.cl as a search provider

The So.cl team is extremely active in So.cl....they'll answer questions and implement features asked on socl.

Inviting friends is relatively easy, you can enter emails (separated with a comma), or simply post an invite to Facebook. Unfortunantly, there's no way to invite a specific Facebook friend.

Overall, I don't think So.cl is gonna be getting any bigger than just a research project...Although I do consider it better than Twitter, I don't believe that Microsoft is going to invest enough money in it to become a major player (unless, of course, they implemented it straight into Bing)

Well, that's my two cents. If you'd like screenshots or more information about any of the features, just ask ;) oh btw, is anyone on here already in the So.cl beta?

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BetaAddict

The way I see it, So.cl might become a social media aggregator. I know we already have a ton of those, all of them with their own pros and cons. But given MS's success rate in recent years in producing quality stuff like Win 7 and WP7 Mango in the recent years, it really could become something of a hub they can potentially include by default as an app in Windows 8. Add some Bing integration and you should be able to find just about anything from Facebook and Twitter that is public.

MetroTwit is an awesome app too, even though it is not made by MS. It just shows how awesome apps can be for Windows 8 if coded properly.

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FMH

Hey Mathew, thanks for reviewing. I would love some interface snapshots too.

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Matthew_Thepc

Here are pictures of most So.cl features. Enjoy ;)

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Lachlan

to tell you the truth, so.cl seems alot llike windows live.. I wonder if this is eventually going to be the replacement for the windows live as we know it today.

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