And you thought the days of also-ran social networks were over. Having missed that particular memo, Microsoft has quietly launched an experimental social network dubbed So.cl, which encourages users to search for information about a particular topic, then compile the best results -- textual content, images and videos -- into a single post.
Initially targeted to students, “It may end up being useful to that market, but it's unlikely to get traction as a mainstream social network,” according to ReadWriteWeb. The criticism only gets worse from there. “File this in the ‘we-try-it-out-so-you-don't-have-to’ category,” RWW adds. “So.cl is a derivative social network that may be useful to students, but it won't fly elsewhere.”
Microsoft is calling So.cl "an experiment in open search," in that anything users search for on the network is viewable by other users, and made available to third-party developers. So.cl also features "video parties," which are essentially video playlists with a chat area. “It's probably the most innovative feature in So.cl, but that isn't saying a lot,” RWW jokes. “The reality is that Facebook or Google+ could easily replicate it, if they wanted to.”