Microsoft crashes Mark Zuckerbergs wedding with So.cl

Just a day after Mark Zuckerberg gets married to long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan, Microsoft silently launches its experimental So.cl (“social”) service.  Perhaps Microsoft is trying to take advantage of the Facebook-CEO post wedding jubilations to gain some grounds in the internet social media market.  Chances are Priscilla is not allowing Mark to mix work with their honeymoon, so this might be Microsoft’s most brilliant plan yet. In all seriousness, however, can Microsoft really hope to take away some of Facebook’s users? 

Just a day after Mark Zuckerberg gets married to long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan, Microsoft silently launches its experimental So.cl (“social”) service.  Perhaps Microsoft is trying to take advantage of the Facebook-CEO post wedding jubilations to gain some grounds in the internet social media market.  Chances are Priscilla is not allowing Mark to mix work with their honeymoon, so this might be Microsoft’s most brilliant plan yet.  In all seriousness, however, can Microsoft really hope to take away some of Facebook’s users?

The answer is, no.  There is just no way Microsoft can overtake the $100 billion social networking giant.  That’s not to say that Microsoft can’t pull something out of its magic hat in the future, but for the time being—expect very little activity from So.cl.  Signing up for So.cl is a rather easy process.   All you need is a Facebook or Windows Live ID. 

 Microsoft crashes Mark Zuckerbergs wedding with So.cl

Once logged into So.cl you will see more graphics than texts.  If you’re visual person, chances are you will find this approach to social networking very intuitive and fun.  Another very different approach to So.cl is that it constantly streams other So.cl user’s search queries to your So.cl homepage.  You might find this interesting because you are seeing what’s the ‘hot’ and what’s ‘not’.  However, you might also find it quite annoying if you don’t really care about what other people are searching for. 

So what is So.cl?  According to the official So.cl FAQ:

“So.cl (pronounced "social") is an experimental research project, developed by Microsoft’s FUSE Labs, focused on exploring the possibilities of social search for the purpose of learning.

 So.cl combines social networking and search, to help people find and share interesting web pages in the way students do when they work together.

 So.cl helps you create rich posts, by assembling montages of visual web content.

To encourage interaction and collaboration, So.cl provides rich media sharing, and real time sharing of videos via "video parties."

We expect students to continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other existing social networks, as well as Bing, Google and other search tools. We hope to encourage students to reimagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved, by researching, learning and sharing in their everyday lives.”

Just by reading this small section of the So.cl FAQ’s, you can guess that Microsoft is attempting to enter the social networking market by an indirect route.  If you remember Google’s Buzz, a previous fail attempt at social networking, then chances are you will see a similar path for Google+. 

 Microsoft crashes Mark Zuckerbergs wedding with So.cl

So.cl encourages its users to ‘continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other existing social networks.”  This indirect approach to social networking might work in Microsoft’s favor since they are not attacking Facebook head on, but instead they want to integrate the So.cl networking into the already existing frameworks of other social networks.  Brilliant, yes, but will it work?  Who really knows if Microsoft has really hit the jackpot on this idea, but what we know is that attacking Facebook head one is not working.  Certainly, it did not work for Google.