back to article Microsoft to close its social network on a week's notice – and SIX people complain

Microsoft will close So.cl, its very low-key social network, on March 15. Microsoft soft-launched So.cl to students only in May 2012 and billed it as an “experiment in social search” because posts always started with a Bing search. The service was made available to anyone in December 2012 and then … crickets. The service has …

  1. frank ly Silver badge

    Who can you believe nowadays?

    From Wikipedia: "KakaoTalk currently has 170 million users and is available in 15 languages. The app is also used by 93% of smartphone owners in South Korea."

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Who can you believe nowadays?

      Well, both. Wikipedia is talking about full-year users (170m) and Statista is talking about monthly users (about 50m). If you follow the link in the Wikipedia page, you'll get to a South Korean financial news article that says:

      "KakaoTalk ... had 170 million subscribers at the end of last year and 48 million monthly active users (MAU)."

      C.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Who can you believe nowadays?

        Heck! The truth is complicated isn't it? Well pointed out and thank you.

  2. Captain DaFt

    Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

    I remember when So.cl was launched, it was mentioned here on El Reg.

    But absolutely nothing since until now, here on El Reg.

    In fact, the only MS products I ever heard about from friends/family were:

    Vista (such language! <tsk>)

    Zune (nothing good)

    Win7 (everyone was laughing at the party hype release)

    Win8 (see Vista above)

    Win10 (see Vista above)

    Apparently, MS marketing has a certain touch... the touch of Death, when it comes to marketing to the masses

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

      More like Slurp suffers from 'hoof in mouth disease'. The PR flacks and marketing failures have no clue how the masses use computers, etc. If stupidity were a crime they would be amongst the first in line for summary execution.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

        Seems as though the only way they can get publicity is to close something!

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

        "If stupidity were a crime they would be amongst the first in line for summary execution."

        Although their "Share and enjoy" corporate theme tune has some...... unique..... features.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

      In fact, the only MS products I ever heard about from friends/family were.......

      they do a have minor product called Xbox, you may of heard rumours of.

      1. Daniel B.
        FAIL

        Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

        they do a have minor product called Xbox, you may of heard rumours of.

        Fortunately, they made an excellent job of shooting both feet with the stupid DRM fiasco that the Xbox One is pretty much dead in the water. Sure, they're trying to get their groove back with Project Scorpio, but all that talk about "premium" console, "premium" price is hinting at a sorely expensive device that nobody but Xbox fanbois will be interested in. At this point, even Nintendo has better odds at having a successful comeback than Microsoft.

        MSFT has seen the writing in the wall, which is why they've turned all of their exclusives into "Windows10 and Xbox" games.

    3. My Coat

      Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

      You've never heard mention of IE from friends/family? Or Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Office?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft has a problem with word of mouth

      That's because Microsoft is a tainted brand with a spotty past history.

      Observe how it tries to polish a turd by releasing Edge, which is really Internet Explorer beneath the surface.

      Word of mouth kills Microsoft.

      And for the younger generation, Microsoft is irrelevant because it has virtually no presence in the mobile market. Not even piggybacking Nokia's empty shell had helped.

      Better stick to the desktop/enterprise stuff. Doing hipster stuff e.g. launching a new corporate logo and acquiring Minecraft will achieve nothing.

  3. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    havent done a headcount myself recently

    .. so unsure as to current human population, but have the feeling that facebook number would be somewhere around a quarter of them ?

    Statistically speaking, more than half the population is of average or lower intelligence.

  4. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

    That is about 250 times the population of the Earth.

    Whoda thunk that all those newly discovered planets are all using Facebook.

    1. Your alien overlord - fear me

      Re: Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

      But 1870 billion are PR/marketing bots :-)

    2. Simon Sharwood, Reg APAC Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

      One wrong piece of punctuation and this is what I - deservedly - get. Fixed it now.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

        Just claim to be French - they use the comma where everyone else uses the full-stop in numbers.

        1. Named coward

          Re: Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

          @AMBxx

          As long as by "everyone else" you mean the UK and colonies/ex-colonies + some asian countries and by "France" you mean most of mainland europe and their colonies/ex-colonies

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Facebook's 1,871 billion active users.

          and _I_ totally missed the typo until I re-re-re-read it and... Ohhhh... [fridge moment]

          yeah, the ',' instead of '.'. must be late at night over here, across the pond, on the lower left side of the USA. 3:49 AM actually.

  5. agatum
    Thumb Up

    The death notice has generated six (6, as in 3+3) comments in the three days since it was posted

    Funny, as el regs article has generated more buzz: 7 comments at time of me writing this. Maybe slurp should concentrate on making nice operating systems, like it once used to. Remember xp or 7?

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Windows

      >Remember xp or 7?

      Sadly I do, garbage compared to the competition ...

      1. agatum

        Sadly I do, garbage compared to the competition ...

        True. But stellar pieces of privacy respecting software engineering compared to cow urine leaking (more accurately, sprayed upon us) from redmond these days.

    2. arctic_haze Silver badge

      I see no comments under this "death notice". Were they removed (together with the possibility to comment) or is it my Privacy Badger who saves me from Microsoft data slurp?

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Terminator

    So.cl? another 'Kin' moment for Redmond

    Like Windows Mobile

    Like Zune

    Yet, MS is apparently about to release more mobile stuff on the world that has already voted with its feet and gone elsewhere. The Nokia device that I had a chance to use was ok but there was nothing special about it.

    Nothing special seems to be the norm for MS these days.

    Note to Redmond, the world outside your Washington State bubble has moved on.

    Your latest moves with W10 and Adverts in Explorer???? Go take a hike.

    Don't we get enough adverts thrown at us already?

    Your time has passed MS, time to retire.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: So.cl? another 'Kin' moment for Redmond

      "Don't we get enough adverts thrown at us already?"

      /me checks dipstick level

      No. you're a quart low. you'll have to take some MORE

      (a quote from Wacko Warner)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So.cl? another 'Kin' moment for Redmond

      The "new MS" is quite a different beast though - their culture is changing and (Im'm no MS fanboi) - I am genuinely interested in what that have coming out, especially in the Azure and related stack.

      They are changing, but it is not the end for them. They are innovating again.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: So.cl? another 'Kin' moment for Redmond

        Innovating ?

        No, they're just copying someone different.

  7. ShelLuser
    Pint

    It had #fail written all over it

    I decided to give this a try for myself as well during the start. It was fun while it lasted (I recall two very nice chats with strangers) but equally frustrating. Because in the end there was no 'you', or 'your work' or 'your exposition' it was all joint venture so to speak. And that could go bad really quick.

    The idea was simple: you search for contents, and you might think other people are interested in those results as well. So then you can start a collection of said contents and share it on so.cl. So far, so good. Being an anime fan myself I tried to set up a nice NGE (Neon Genesis Evangelion) kind of search with pictures and some articles (Wikipedia, fansites, etc. link), cool! I even attracted a few followers.

    Then suddenly someone decided that NGE had a completely different meaning and started adding offtopic nonsense to my Neon Genesis "tribute", of course without any means for me to remove any of it. So in a few more days what was once a nice (starting) tribute section had turned into a mess, a mixture between anime, stock market, a private firm and some people complaining that they couldn't make heads or tails of things. And so it also lost interest and followers. Not because of me, but because others made a mess and I couldn't do a thing about it.

    Well, that was my first and only run on so.cl. I didn't even care anymore if Microsoft was going to fix things, since I had already decided that this was a waste of my time.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: It had #fail written all over it

      I heard of it for the first time today.

      So I went to have a look at it and got blocked by our internal domain filter.

      Is that other google one still going? The one that was like an empty pub with no atmosphere?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It had #fail written all over it

        Google+ is still going, you are forced to use it if you want to keep control of your business on google (see previous rant about the details constantly being changed).

        Google also rig the search so it is heavily biased to it's own products.

        3 reviews on Google+ (1 bad by friend of sacked employee from 2 years ago) amazingly is more important than the dozens of bang up to date ones on trip adviser.

      2. davenewman

        Re: It had #fail written all over it

        The other Google one, Orkut, is still going in Brasil. Tem de falar Portugues.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It had #fail written all over it

          No, it's not- in spite of its popularity in Brazil, Google closed Orkut entirely in late 2014. Presumably this was part of their obsessive attempt to make Google+ a "success" by strongarming everyone into using it. I've no idea whether this worked for Orkut users, or if Google's arrogance just scored them an own-goal and drove them into the arms of their largest rival in that area, Facebook.

          Of course, you've got to love how Google basically forced everyone to create a Google+ account and tie it to other Google accounts to do anything with (e.g.) YouTube, then changed their mind and let you separate them again, making it a PITA to keep track of which account was associated with which- or how they basically did the same in requiring businesses to sign up with Google+ to keep track of their Google-held details, then changed focus and decided Google+ was a Pinterest rival and not for businesses, making things more complicated- again.

  8. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    It has gone the way of 'Comic Chat'

    anyone else remember 'comic chat' ?

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: It has gone the way of 'Comic Chat'

      I do. It was an interesting take on IRC. In fact, I started using the IRC server directly, I had no idea about the Comic interface until someone mentioned it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Hey bae So.cl user <3

    ...and so on...

  10. joed Silver badge

    Skype?

    I'm gone the moment MS tried to turn Skype into a social crap. I use it solely for family calls and even then, most of my contacts have already moved on to other communicators MS had no chance to mess up.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember Silverlight, anyone?

    Once again Microsoft has tried to invent its own platform to compete against its competitors, then gave up when no one gave a flip about it.

    Calling it an 'experiment' then pulling the plug on it is equivalent to the American troops 'declaring victory' and pulling out of Vietnam. Admit it Microsoft, it was bleeding money and the accountants aren't too happy.

    1. Kiwi

      Re: Remember Silverlight, anyone?

      Once again Microsoft has tried to invent its own platform to compete against its competitors, then gave up when no one gave a flip about it.

      Was that something like the Microsoft Network (MSN) that was going to replace this newfangled Internet thingy?

  12. Daniel B.
    Facepalm

    They already had a better one

    Anyone remember MSN Spaces? That one kinda worked, though it was more of a LiveJournal-style blogging platform. But the thing is: it worked. Integrating that with their then-popular MSN Messenger IM service did wonders to the whole thing. At some point, people were constantly posting stuff in there and your friends could see those updates; a surefire thing as everyone had MSN Messenger.

    It started dying off as people migrated to hi5 and/or Facebook and the old blogs stagnated. Sometime around 2010, Microsoft migrated all the blogs into some Wordpress crap and shut down the original network. Then they killed MSN Messenger. They basically killed off their only successful social network-ish stuff to promote Skype; instead, everyone just jumped ship to Facebook. Great job, Ballmer!

  13. Mage Silver badge

    Facebook's 1.871 billion active users

    Since they are not in China at all, isn't that a suspect stat?

    How many are bots?

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