Categorized | Internet News

Is Microsoft’s Social Network Going to Work?

As we all know, social networking is rapidly gaining in importance in the online world. A large amount of internet users regularly visit websites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google +, etc. While social networking sites have flourished and have helped the companies that run them make tremedous profits, one big player in the online world seemed to be left behind: Microsoft. Sure, they have some social features in Windows Live. Plus they have the SkyDrive service, which makes it easier for users to share files and data through a cloud storage environment. Then, there was the launch of social features on the Bing search engine. But one thing that Microsoft lacked was a social platform similar to Google + or Facebook.

 

But this may change in the future. On May 20th, Microsoft has announced that they are experimenting with a new social networking service called Socl. Now the main question remains: is this new service going to experience any success, or will it be relegated to the status of “failed product”? For now, it is yet too early to tell. The service was launched by Microsoft Research on an experimental basis.

 

Even with that, there have been a few reports of users who have tried Socl. The results so far have been a bit disappointing. On the home page, Socl says that users will have the ability to share what they search for, take part in a “video party” and “discover new interests”.

 

Sharing your search doesn’t seem like anything spectacular and that feature has already been integrated with Bing, which kind of makes it redundant. As for video parties, this is a feature that for now, doesn’t seem to have much interest among social media users. Even with Google +, few users find this feature too attractive. And those who do usually stay on dedicated web cam sites that have a complete platform built around this, like Stickam.

 

Lastly, if users want to discover new interests, the network will need to have enough content on it to let them do this. But if there are few active users, there is also little chance that someone will discover anything new and interesting by using Microsoft’s Socl service.

 

As far as functionality is concerned, things aren’t going too great. Reviewers who have tried the site found that the signup process was clumsy and they had to try again several times just to get to the next page. Certain elements of the service, like sharing links, also seemed to be needlessly complicated and needed a few tries before getting things working the way they should. As it’s just an experiment, we can of course say that Microsoft will improve the service and make it work better.

 

However, for now there doesn’t seem to be too much interest in this Microsoft product. In fact, if you weren’t following online marketing or IT news, you probably wouldn’t have even known that it existed. You can, of course, sign up to see what it’s all about, but for now, it looks like the service is far from being anything that great.

 

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