Microsoft has kept the launch of So.cl hush-hush, but it’s finally starting to hit the market. The new social network is designed to help students with research through other students who have shared information on the site. So.cl isn’t designed to compete with any of the other social networks, however, and has only the student population in mind.
“FUSE Labs’ So.cl project is now accepting all users interested in joining the site,” a Microsoft representative stated late yesterday afternoon. “So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people.” In other words, Wikipedia has finally met Facebook.
The website is pronounced “social” and combines social networking with the ability to share information and learn from other people. You can log into So.cl with your Facebook, and once you’re logged in, a variety of clickable topics will be presented to you. Click on a topic, and a myriad of information that’s been found on the internet will be presented to you.
Like many of the social networks, you can “share” certain interesting items with other So.cl users, and you can comment, tag, or “riff” posts (which hasn’t been described in detail yet, other than Microsoft stating it’s a “new way to interact and improvise content”). Microsoft is calling So.cl “an experiment in open search,” because all of the information searched and posted will not only be available to other users, but to third parties as well.
Currently, the service is only available at Syracuse University, Washington University, and New York University, but it’s expected the full launch will happen sometime late this year or early next year.