Companies with big bucks paying for great SEO will soon be pushed down the list in Bing searches in favour of sites that friends and followers have rated.
Jumping on the social media bandwagon, Microsoft has recently launched its own social offering – So.cl. For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to find out for themselves, chances are so.cl is probably not going to inspire you to jump the Facebook ship anytime soon.
Let’s talk about why:
Where did So.cl come from?
So.cl came about after an analysis was done on link sharing across Facebook, Twitter and Bing. You might remember last year the site was launched prematurely under the moniker Tulalip.
At the time the network was targeted at students exclusively, offering them a chance to mingle and do their research.
Now that it has launched officially, the network seems to be targeting a much wider user base, allowing people to connect with their Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.
So.cl looks a bit like Facebook, but it operates more like Twitter. So rather than having a close network of friends you’ll have people you follow and people who follow you.
Your network is created by either inviting your friends from other networks, or following people who you can see have similar interests to you or who search in the same areas.
What makes it different?
The aim of So.cl is to allow users to search for and share content without ever having to leave the social network. Simply type in a topic in the search bar and you can browse through various images and articles. When you find something you’d like to post, just click and post.
Like Google+, the value in this is the friend recommendations. Companies with big bucks paying for great SEO will soon be pushed down the list in Bing searches in favour of sites that friends and followers have rated.
Why it won’t kick off
Despite the numerous glitches on So.cl, the idea behind it is brilliant. Unfortunately though, rumour has it Facebook is looking at creating their own browser to do exactly that; and in the meantime, no one is really complaining about having to click back and forth between browser tabs to post material to their Facebook.
It’s also not great timing. Even Google+ is struggling to make a dent in Facebook and that was before Facebook got its act together and started offering better features.
While So.cl has a great interface, it needs a lot more work in the back end. I found this really surprising because Microsoft has had a pretty good track record with their past releases (I still use Hotmail).
The biggest problem with So.cl is that it’s a little like Facebook was ten years ago with only a few extra features. Perhaps with a bit more time in the incubator Microsoft could have released something really worthwhile, without all of the glitches.