Quite a few months ago, Tulalip (Microsoft’s social network) leaked online and was taken offline quickly, but not before people caught a glimpse of it. Well, this week the folks over at The Verge managed to get an early look at the service and it looks like it’s not going to be a typical social network ala Facebook/MySpace. It is now called Socl (no more Tulalip) and mixes search, discovery, and a social network.
Users can sign in via Twitter of Facebook, and it has a design that resembles Windows Phone tiles aka Metro UI. Status updates seemed to be focused on whatever you search for in Socl (which uses Bing btw), though you can toggle it to show a regular status update. Friends will be able to comment on your searches, like and even tag them. Other features include a video party feature that lets friends watch videos together, and of course – social search. Bing’s own version of Google’s +1 searches.
What Socl doesn’t have is private interaction – no private messages, @replies, groups etc that other networks have. But then again, it doesn’t look like Socl was designed for that purpose, though Microsoft could always add these features in the future. At the moment Socl is a research project, so there’s a chance that it won’t even be released in the future, but there will be an invite-only public beta test that will be rolled out soon.
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