News: Microsoft Socl Goes Mobile
Back in late 2011 Microsoft launched a beta version of their new social media platform called Socl (pronounced simply as “social”). When it launched in its beta form Socl was seen as a research project from Microsoft that the company has been tweaking and adding features since launching it. Now Microsoft has expanded the reach of Socl from a pure desktop experience to mobile devices. Early this week Microsoft released an app version of Socl on Android’s Google Play, iTunes App Store and, of course, the Windows Phone Store.
For those that may not know what it is, Socl is a search-based social network that relies heavily on images, gifs and videos users collect from across the internet and post them on their Socl profile. While Socl is considered its own social media network Microsoft does not see it as a competitor to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, at least not yet. Instead Microsoft sees Socl as a complimentary network to the bigger social media networks available for its users.
With the simultaneous release on Android, iOS and Windows Phone the app’s feature list and app layout is identical for all three platforms:
*Create beautiful collages and funny memes in seconds.
*Share your creations on Socl, as well as your other favorite social networks.
*Create visual responses (“riffs”) to existing content.
*Snap a picture and share it on Socl.
*Receive notifications about community activity on the content you love.
*Organize the content you love in collections.
*Connect with new and interesting people worldwide.
From user reviews, as of 12/11/13, the Socl app holds a 2.5 out of 5 rating on Android and iOS. The app is faring better among Windows Phone users as it currently holds a 3.5 out of 5 rating on the Windows Phone Store. Current complaints with the app from users have been with the app being prone to lag during use, hurting the experience of scrolling through what other users have shared. After running test runs on the three platforms we did face similar experiences with the app lagging on Android and iOS. The experience on Windows Phone was better with the app working with minimal lag. The design across the three platforms having an aesthetic similar to Tumblr and Instagram did make Socl easy to use right away.
With the expansion into mobile devices the hope has to be that it will expand on the user base of this social network. As it stands now, Socl is a fun, new social network to use but future app updates will need to take greater advantage of the Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms to help grow it’s user base.