On Wednesday, Microsoft began allowing new user registrations to its new social networking site that is, according to the company's website, not intended to be a competitor to Facebook and other similar sites.
On Wednesday, Microsoft began allowing new user registrations for their new social networking site named “Socl.” Experts are not sure if Microsoft plans to compete directly with Facebook, or change the social media landscape entirely. The company insists that the site is not intended to be a competitor, but is in fact an “experimental research project”, according to the website. Additionally, the site explains that there are only minimal active features, leading many to believe that there may be more exciting capabilities to be released in the future.
While users can log into Socl using their Facebook accounts and connect with their existing friends, Socl encourages users to connect with other Socl members with like interests. Socl focuses much more on the visual, using pictures and collages of images to help users organize their interests. Some of the more interesting features include the display of posts by random users from across the entire site, ideally encouraging the forming of new connections. The site is also integrated with Bing, Microsoft’s budding search engine, meaning that when a user searches for a term in the search bar, they will also receive internet results.
The technology included in the site’s design is undoubtedly amazing, but the real test will be whether potential users can find a need for this site in their lives. They can already organize pictures via Pinterest, and many Gmail users automatically have Google+ accounts which are integrated somewhat with the search engine, Google. Facebook is very well established, and it seems unlikely that users will leave the site in critical mass any time soon.
Microsoft has a decidedly conservative, if not old-fashioned, image. No one argues that Microsoft reinvented the world of personal computing with its design and marketing of the Windows operating system. Whether the company can repeat this success in the online space remains to be seen, since Bing has been able to grab limited market share from the search engine giant Google, despite very aggressive marketing campaigns.
Many of us here at VR-Zone will be experimenting with this new site and will report back findings as they become available.