While everyone was flabbergasted with the idea of social networking and Facebook was gaining importance, other technology giants also tried dipping their toes into the said ecosystem. One such social experiment So.Cl (pronounced social) came from the fun people at Microsoft Research FUSE Labs. But, the platform failed to gain traction and is now closing down after a five-year-long stint.

Microsoft debuted the said platform back in 2011, with the aim of providing consumers with a collaborative platform rather than the usual communication stack. It allowed them to create, collect and share everything from rich visual collages to short animated video (now known to us GIF). These posts or collections could be shared on So.Cl, as well as other existing social platforms as well.

When the platform made its initial debut for students, before a wider roll out, it was being closely compared to Facebook or Twitter. It was being seen as Microsoft’s attempt to build a social network to take the competitors head-on. But, the company never intended the collaborative service to rival them as So.Cl itself used Facebook login to onboard users. Also, the visual and media-focused approach it followed was reminiscent to Pinterest boards, if nothing else.

So.Cl quietly continued to exist on the interweb and mobile for a period longer than most would’ve imagined. The platform failed in its mission to redesign and enhance the social experience through the said approach. Thus, it is now going offline within a week’s time, on March 15. In an official blog post, FUSE Labs bid farewell to the experimental social network as under:

So.cl 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, So.cl’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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.