Posted on Monday, May 28th, 2012 by Uri Halevi
So far using search engines required creativity on the user’s behalf: You type keywords and then start to rule out results, clicking things that are irrelevant until you find what you need. So.cl shortens your path to relevant search results by creating a feed of results both from Bing’s search engine and other users, like you, who searched the same keyword. You can see the action these people took after receiving the same search results and how they continued from there. Then you can ‘Riff’ them, which is replying with a verbal and visual way, making conversation over their choices.
My reaction to this launch went from anticipation to disappointment to complete awe. The anticipation part you probably understand, finally Microsoft shows its social answer to Facebook after such a long time and money invested… The disappointment part came after my subscription when I found myself lost, not understanding why clicking one thing got me to posts about something completely different, and generally disappointed for seeing features I know from other social platforms wearing a different dress… And then awe, as I understood the potential of this platform and realized that once again, Microsoft are being even more ambitious then I dared to believe.
To understand So.cl you have to stop trying to compare it to Facebook and realize who the real target is of Microsoft’s latest move in today’s innovation war: Google. Its been over a decade since Google’s blitz on the internet which made it its almost sole monarch, but the wounds are not yet healed, Microsoft tried to fight back with Bing and numerous acquisitions but never really managed to bother Google. This new search platform shows Microsoft still sees ‘search’ as the Internets most powerful tool, and thinks that finally it has the answer that can redeem past defeats to Google and reclaim what it think is its rightful place; the top of the web world.
Microsoft claims that they do not challenge Facebook or Google but they can – and will – do both. Once they will have enough subscribers and users so that the search will actually be varied, they will have the added value that will make people migrate from their good old Google search to a more effective and enlightening one. And if people will use So.cl’s search they will be one step closer to landing on the social platform on which it’s already based. Maybe it’s time both Google and Facebook start looking over their shoulders!
Innovation or a poor attempt to catch up with everyone else? Try So.cl and tell us what you think.