Just last week (May 2012) Microsoft has quietly launched So.cl to invited participants only.

So.cl (pronounced ‘social’) isn’t necessarily a Facebook replacement as the social network website is designed to give students the ability to network and share information with their peers.

Combining social networking with search for the sole purpose of learning. In this latest development from FUSE Labs (headed by Facebook alumni Lili Cheng), users will log in to the network with their Facebook or Windows Live accounts and will then be presented with a variety of suggested topics of interest.

Inspired by Facebook’s original intent as a social networking site for students, So.cl has share or recommend buttons in the form of a “bookmarklet” feature that adds a “Share on So.cl” button to the users’ browser toolbar, allowing them to share interesting websites with other So.cl users.

So.cl Features Include:

Sharing, commenting and tagging other users’ posts

“riff” on a post (a unique feature as a new way to interact and improvise with content)

Video Parties that acts as a content aggregation of videos that users can share with their friends

Sharing searched gives the users the ability to share their searches to other users

Microsoft referred to the network as “an experiment in open search”, meaning searches will be viewable to other So.cl users and third parties but that it won’t automatically post users’ So.cl activity, unless they opt in.

Microsoft initially made the network, which it described as an “experimental research project” as a service available to information and design schools at the University of Washington, Washington; Syracuse University, New York; and New York University, New York.

With this new launch by Microsoft are we going to see a growth very much like Facebook?

In addition, are we going to see this as a “Facebook Killer” just as we are slowly watching the demise of MySpace?


Microsoft launches its own social service
 By Steven Musil, CNET.com on May 21st, 2012