Microsoft's little-used Socl network is shutting down

Socl, a social network launched by Microsoft's Research arm in 2011, will be shutting down soon. The service, which was never really a direct competitor to other popular "social" networks, will officially close its digital doors on March 15 (opens in new tab).

Initially launched as part of a private beta for select universities, Microsoft Research's Fuse Labs positioned the service as a way to see what works and what doesn't. From Fuse Labs:

Socl has been a wonderful outlet for creative expression, as well as a place to enjoy a supportive community of like-minded people, sharing and learning together. In supporting you, Socl's unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love.

The service itself worked like sort of a mash-up between Pinterest and Tumblr with an emphasis on creativity and image sharing. Socl even managed to expand from its web browser confines, releasing dedicated mobile apps, including one for Windows Phone in 2013. That said, the service never really managed to gain much traction.

There's no word on whether anything of the service will remain accessible after its closure. However, if you just so happen to be one of Socl's few users, you have until March 15 to say goodbye.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I tried it when it first came out. And well that didn't last long.
  • I still go there every now and then. Kinda sad to see it go.
  • I actually enjoyed it as far as social networking sites go.  It had a much more positive vibe to it than any others, mainly Facebook.  Unfortunately, it was constantly riddled with technical problems -especially on the mobile app.
  • If I can't say it I won't use it. Sockel?
  • "Social".
  • Never heard of it
  • I actually forgot I had an account
  • I think they did the right thing here: experiment and learn, try new ideas. They can use the feedback from users to improve upon other Community projects like Teams, Office 365 services in general and Skype.
  • Excellent point!
  • Never even heard of it
  • They had a great WP app
  • Yes they did...and worked well with the fun BLINK app...gosh, the more I think of all the things Microsoft did and took away from us, the more I feel sad...
  • Never heard of it...
  • I have an account, wanted to use it but didn't know what to do with it...
  • You don't know you just do ;P
  • When this came out I was suffering from Social Network fatigue. Did I really need to join one more damn network that provides overlapping features with all the other ones. Facebook and Twitter are enough for me.
  • I've used it in the past month one time
  • I liked it. Just not enough users.
  • I used it quite a bit when on Windows phone with the BLINK app and official So.Cl was a refreshing change of pace from the other social networks. And yes, I can say when I had to move off of Windows Phone, I used it less but kind of sad to see it go. The site Ello is pretty close to it and a good alternative.  The one question I'd like So.Cl to answer is how to save our animated GIF's that we uploaded. No way to save them as they are (animated.)