Microsoft (Social) Silently Launched

Martin Brinkmann
May 20, 2012
Internet, Microsoft

Oh no, not another networking site, please, for god's sake. That was my first thought when I read about Microsoft when it was first announced. With Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and myriads of specialized social networking sites like Pinterest or Chill, it has become quite crowded in the place. New services who want any chance of success need to either have the backing of a large Internet player, or an idea that introduces something new to the scene.  We have seen the explosive growth of services like Pinterest, which have introduced something new, and Google Plus, which is backed by Google's whole marketing machinery and integrated into nearly every Google service out there.

Now it is, which happened to be activated earlier accidentally, and then pulled again by Microsoft. The service as of today is accessible again, which may be another accident, or a silent launch. Regardless of why it is now available, it is not the best of starts, considering that users do not really know about the service, and do not see the service plastered over all of Microsoft's hot properties on the Internet.

Interested users can sign up for with their Windows Live ID or their Facebook account. Once that is out of the way you see the usuall assortment of first steps laid out in front of you. You see some suggested topics that you may be interested in, popular users who are already using, and if you used your Facebook account to sign-up, your Facebook friend's who have signed-up already.


According to Microsoft, socl combines web browsing, search and social networking with each other. Lets see what your options are:

  • You can obviously befriend users on socl by following them. If you do that, you see their posts in your feed
  • You can also browse through the global feed. I'm not really sure how this will work out when millions of users are posting on socl, for now though.
  • When you see a post of interest, you can like it, comment on it, tag it, share it or riff it. The latter requires some explanation. If you riff a post on socl, you basically post a response to that post. If you see a post full of photos of Jerusalem, you might want to riff it to add your own photos or notes that relate to the original post. A link to the riffed post is added to the original post and vice versa. This works similar to YouTube's video response feature.
  • You create new posts by entering a topic of interested into the form at the top of the page. Socl uses Bing as its search engine, and you will find image, video and text, as well as results from feeds in the results listing. You can now add contents to your post, and add links and tags manually to it as well.
  • You can also join and create video parties. This basically allows you to create a chat room and add videos to it from various video hosting sites. Other users can then join the room, and chat about the videos that they watch, and add videos of their own to the room.
  • A bookmarklet is available that lets you share contents that you find on the Internet to directly.

The search to post and video party ideas are neat, but I'm not really convinced that they are enough to help the service take off, let alone compete with the heavyweight social networking sites.

New users may want to check out the settings first to make sure the notification and privacy settings are to their liking. By default, emails digests will be send out on a weekly basis, and notifications will be send out when someone comments on a post or search, tags the user, invites or sends a private message. options

What's your take on Will you give it a try, or wait to see how it fares first?


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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