Over the weekend Microsoft launched its new social network, Socl, over at www.so.cl. It offers up the same functions as FaceBook and Google+ but is the sole property of Microsoft. Despite the offering, the social media agency should not rush to join this party. The main issue with the new network is the lack of anyone knowing about it or being on it. When creating a new profile there are suggestions for whom to follow, but even then there is very little content for people to view.
It also does not seem likely that many people will come to the network. Google+ was well known before it launched and it seems to have stalled in its anticipated market penetration. The new network also has little to offer that is unique. Microsoft’s pitch is that users can share content, discover new things and have video parties. Video Party seems strikingly similar to Google+’s hangout. None of these features seem new or different enough to bring people to another social network, especially one that few people are on.
Microsoft would love to see the network take off, but it seems mainly to serve as a hedge. It seems entirely possible that Socl was developed independently of the Bing team. Bing’s integration with FaceBook brought about social search, which is the reason for having Socl in the first place. Socl might not be around for long if Microsoft is confident that Bing and FaceBook will remain partners for the foreseeable future.