Yet Another One Social Joins the Scene
When something becomes popular, expect imitators, copycats, and wannabes to follow its footsteps. But don’t think that mimics cannot surpass the original. Look at Facebook. We all know that they are not the original one in the social networking site scene. It was really Friendster that started the social network trend. Then there was Myspace that took the top spot, the same spot other minor and not-so-successful sites like Hipstir, Everyone’s connected, and Hi-5 attempted to steal. Yet all of these sites where put to extinction by Facebook, today’s leading social networking site.
And the imitation and competition goes on. Diaspora came in along with other no-namer same-platform sites. Some swerved from the competition and focus on their country, like what the People’s Republic of China’s RenRen and Qzone did.
Then Google take the challenge and created Google+. It somehow changed the game, but without any doubt, it has struggled to put Facebook’s name out of the match. And now, Microsoft’s Bing is allegedly preparing itself on a head-to-head match against these two social network giant.
Well, as I’ve said—allegedly.
Will Socl.com change the Social Game?
The eeriness of Socl.com
Eerie and mysterious. Perhaps these are the perfect words to describe Socl.com since there is no precise evidence of its inception and ownership. One unknown online reporter says that it’s a site purchased by Microsoft from an unknown developer, others say that it is just a test site of one unknown company.
Then on July 13, 2011, it was revealed that the ownership of that eerie domain belongs to Microsoft.
It’s landing page was Tulalip, which had a site message that read: “Welcome! With Tulalip you can FIND what you need and Share what you know easier than ever”. The site materialized as a social media/social networking site inclusion to Bing since it could functions as one. Tulalip—according to its HOW IT WORKS PAGE—can follow new people, see the user’s followers, see tweets on user’s timeline and post their own tweets, and update the user’s profile. Moreover, it also offered log-in buttons for both Twitter and Facebook, a thing that made it appear more of a social networking site than an internal design project.
It’s just an internal design project, folks
Then several days after, the Tulalip landing page was tweaked and completely changed with a message that read,
“Thanks for stopping by.
Socl.com is an internal design project from a team in Microsoft Research which was mistakenly published to the web, We didn’t mean to, honest.”
The Tulalip aftermath
Surprisingly, the real North Amercian Tulalip tribe wasn’t really flattered by Microsoft’s use of their name. Reports said that Microsoft approached and met with the tribe leaders to express sincere apologies and say that the name was intended to be an internal code and not for public purposes as media and Web writers insisted it.
Bing versus Facebook
Allegations and speculations still roam on the Web, but the question is, is a Bing vs. Facebook plausible and believable thing, given their (Microsoft) strong partnership with Facebook? And, it is really needed? Because if the search engine giant Google is losing all its marbles and cards in battling with Zuckerberg, then what can a number 3 search engine do to vie with them? Wouldn’t it be more practical if they’d just focus first on becoming the no.1 search engine before “trying” it to a more difficult game dominated by a “partner”?
The social network world is now crowded
The social network world is now crowded; Facebook and Google+ (you can also add Twitter in the equation) are enough to make marketing and advertising social. Today, having minor social networking competitors like Diaspora, Netlog, Habbo, and Perfspot gives us the impression of how crowded and overpopulated this social media world is, and having an additional in the face of another giant site will not make it any better. Who ever won this battle between these giant social media networks, SEO experts, analyst, freelancers, SEO resellers, and newbies are ready to step in and use it as their finest leverage.
To Bing and Microsoft, thinking of innovative things that may contribute to the future of the Web is better than copying and vying. Or maybe focusing on their computers is a lot better, since Apple is leading their industry race big time.