Just What The World Needed
While the world watched the Facebook IPO debacle last week Microsoft quietly launched its own social media network called So.cl. Unlike most new social media networks this one is being touted by Microsoft as “not” a social media network. In fact, they say, it’s just a social search project aimed at college students which allows them to share information they find while doing their research. Specifically, see something cool and interesting during a web search and instantly share it with your network of friends.
If this sounds an awful lot like the way Facebook started, well, ask Microsoft about that.
While we try to decide whether or not So.cl is a social media network or just a social search tool, people are actively using it just like a social media network. They are creating “rich posts”, “video parties”, bookmarking and sharing their favorite web content–all the things folks are also doing on Facebook and Google+ and Twitter. True, So.cl does have a social search function, but that seems incidental compared with the full suite of activities users can engage in.
Social search has become just another function of managing a social media site. Google+ has “search your world” Twitter has hashtags and Facebook has, well, a “search” bar. It seems unlikely any of these social media behemoths will create a search function which allows for searching a rival social media network. That just doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.
Which leads me to me next point: How long do think it will be until someone creates a search engine designed specifically to search the Social Web? I’m betting we’ll see one in the next six months….
With Facebook hogging the spotlight last week and Google working to stay in the game with Google+, Microsoft has quietly launched So.cl, which it describes as a social-search tool to share information and meet people with common interests.
What it’s not, Microsoft says, is a rival to Facebook.
“So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people,” Microsoft said Monday in an e-mail.
The tool was launched late last year for students at a handful of colleges and universities. Last week, the company quietly made it available to anyone for a public beta test period.