Microsoft Socl: Social Networking With A Visual Appeal

in Social, Socl | by Jon-Paul Raymond | 0 07.12.2012
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That was Socl just a few months ago. Now Microsoft has revamped the project again and has also officially opened up the Beta version to everyone.

Microsoft seems to intend to take social networking to another level with Socl, because even upon entering the site at it’s main landing page, you’ll notice that Socl immediately breaks the site up into categories through the use of a navigation bar at top. Socl now has an almost Windows 8 like appearance to it, and unlike Facebook or Google+, it feels more like one is browsing through a magazine than anything else. 

socl nav bar

Posts, Interests, People, Me & Parties

Before even moving on to the categories though, you’ll probably notice immediately that when you land in the Post section you’ll see Posts from every language imaginable. By digging into the Settings (on the right) and selecting your primary language from the “Choose the default language you want to translate to”, you’ll filter out a lot of non-understandable content,but I still came across plenty of items foreign to me.

socl-language-issue


Posts

rambling on socl

Even without solving the language issue, moving forward and trying to get to understand the Socl Post page is still a bit a much, no matter how you look at it. The sheer amount of visual information thrown at you is just overwhelming. It’s almost like sifting through catalog of advertisements, except the ads are often times nothing more than a pretty pitcture someone has thrown up and has has begun rambling next to it.


Interests

socl interests

Socl Interests is your answer to Facebook Pages. Microsoft does do a very nice job of laying out the format on this one, and uses images to as tiles to quickly catch your attentio and interests.


People

people in socl

Finding people is fairly easy. Click on People and it seems as though you’re dumped into a sea of them. Finding the right people and keeping in contact with them may be a bit harder as Socl has no goup coordination, like such in Google+’s circles.


Me

me in socl

Of course here is where you’ll add the glamor to your Profile


Parties

socl featured party

Parties are in a sense, Microsoft’s answer to Google Hangouts. It’s a pretty nice feature though, at least the way it’s setup. You can create a room (aka Party) and have an entire playlist of videos run and as people come in they view the videos with you and you can freely chat about them or presumably anything else that comes to mind.


Overall, Microsoft Socl seems to have potential as some sort of social networking platform. The real question is, who will the real users eventually be and for what purpose, especially with Facebook and Google + already so prevalent and most people not wanting to have to log on to another social network to keep track of.

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