Owner Microsoft
Alexa rank 13,800[1]
Registration Required, Ages 18+ ONLY (currently in testing phase) (pronounced "social") is a social networking service and social search engine operated by Microsoft FUSE Labs.

Design appears similar to Google+ and borrows concepts from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.[2] It occupies a niche role and is intended to augment rather than replace these services.[3] Users are able to post a collage of pictures pertaining to a specific topic and share it with friends or "followers". Users are also able to post visual comments under these posts by sending "riffs". Riffs are a separate collage of graphic media that relate to the topic of the post. By using riffs, users are able to communicate with other users with media that are related to the interests.[4]

Signup and login require a Microsoft account or Facebook account.[2] Currently, registration is only open to users 18 and older.

The site has integrated search features using the Bing API. Searches are public by default and can be marked private.[5]

Users can follow other users or categorical interest pages. Users can share content they view on the Internet with other users by installing the's Bookmarklet application which adds a “Share on” button to the browser's bookmark bar.[2]

Video Parties

Video Parties are collections of live YouTube video shared and edited by users.[3]

Following interests

Topic pages can be subscribed to populate the user's interest feeds.[3]

History launched in December 2011 and was first available through a partnership to students of the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University.[2][3][5] While still experimental, the site opened up to all users on 20 May 2012.[2] The web address is a domain hack using the .cl top level domain.[6]

Public beta

Socl was released as a public beta on 4 December 2012. The announcement was made by a post by Microsoft Research's FuSE Lab on their website.[7] The release came with a completely redesigned interface.


  1. (28 May 2012). "Socl site statistics". Alexa Internet, Inc. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Sean Ludwig (20 May 2012). "Microsoft silently launches social networking site". Washington Post via Venturebeat. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ian Paul (21 May 2012). "Microsoft's A Brief Tour". PC World. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  5. 1 2 John Ribeiro (21 May 2012). "Microsoft's social networking site now open to all users". InfoWorld. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  6. "Microsoft using domain hack for private beta of its new social network". 12 December 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  7. "Good morning - It's a big day for us!". Microsoft Research FuSE Labs. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
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