Microsoft has revealed its social network, Socl, is shuttering next week. While some may be saddened by the announcement, there are unlikely to be mourning masses. Indeed, most people have never even heard of the experimental network. The company says Socl (pronounced social) will close its doors on March 15.
Socl (also known as So.cl) never became more than a research project within the walls of Microsoft. It was the company’s response to the rise of social media. While it was clearly a potential rival for Facebook, the look and feel of Socl was closer to the Google Plus network.
Trying to mix the sharing focus of Google Plus with social interaction like Facebook, So.cl was made public in 2012. Despite being widely available, Microsoft never put major resources towards the network. Consequently, the service was always deemed a research project.
Developers working on Socl maintained a solid network, and created something unique. The platform combines story streams with external content and the Bing search engine.
I guess many of our readers never even heard of Microsoft’s social network. That really tells you all there is to know about why the company is killing it. A lack of users means growth has been hard to achieve.
Even so, it is sad to see So.cl head to the internet graveyard. While it never achieved popularity, So.cl was actually a very good social network. Most people predicted it would struggle to grow in the already booming social network market.
Naturally, the dev’s behind the network have said they are sad to see it close, but thanked the dedicated users who gave support over the years:
“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.”
If you were a big fan of So.cl, Microsoft is still offering Socl-branded tees and hoodies available for sale.