If you have never heard of Microsoft’s social network, So.cl, we aren’t surprised. The service launched back in December 2011 and was a private beta for students of the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University. Currently, the site is open to all users, but Microsoft keeps So.cl on the down low.

So.cl is a truly unique experience which tries to mix Bing with social networking. The site can be described as a mixture between pinterest and tumblr; it is currently being run by Microsoft’s research division.

Today’s updates include a newly redesigned collage experience, a new Picotale ability, and connection to Microsoft’s Blink app for creating GIFs.

The collage service allows users to paste links, search Bing, or upload their own content to convey a message or idea. The recent update now allows users to rearrange images and express themselves more freely.


The new function, Picotale, allows users to input a “meme phrase” and have So.cl automatically pull images from the internet appropriate to what is being said. The service works off of Bing’s image search and in my testing – can be quite fun.

Lastly, So.cl is allowing you to create custom GIFs through Microsoft’s BLINK app for Windows Phone and Windows 8 PCs. You can read more about BLINK 2.0 and its abilities, here.

What is So.cl and where exactly does it fit into the social networking spectrum? It is hard to say and we aren’t exactly sure what Microsoft wants to do with the platform - they seem to simply be using it as a test bed. Integration with apps like Blink might show promise that the network is here to stay though – at least for a bit.

If you have never checked out So.cl, we do encourage you to check it out. Just as Google+ is the official fanboy playground for Googlers, So.cl is the official fanboy playground for Microsofties. And let’s admit it – a lot of you will have fun.

Have you ever used So.cl – what do you think?

Source: Microsoft Research Blog