It’s been covered here and there, but Microsoft’s “research experiment” in social networking called SoCl is still around on the web. The service seems like a hybrid of a social network and search, and includes some neat features like video chat. Read more about SoCl below.
You start by searching,a nd then you can easily click and share with anybody else on the network. There’s a home feed where people can see what you’ve shared from your search, and you can then head over and video chat with others. The service automatically allows you to see others’ searches and is an “experiment in open search”.
The video chat is very similar to Hangouts, where you can add videos to your ‘video party’ and then invite friends to watch those videos along with you. It’s pretty seamless and you can chat while you watch the video. A great demonstration is shown in the video below, although you may have to sit through some, um, interesting Spanish pop music.
The service actually brands itself a “research” product, and if you watch the trailer you’ll see the tagline “a new research experience for students,” implying that this really is some ivory tower sandbox. That said, it’s well designed and even allows the user to sign in with Facebook. Check out the service, and sign up and let us know what you think when you get an invite.