Microsoft launches social network Socl on the iPhone, and it isn't very good

You'd be forgiven for never having heard of this one before, but turns out Microsoft has its own social network of sorts and has now launched an app for the iPhone. Known as Socl – and pronounced social – today sees a simultaneous mobile launch of the first mobile apps for the network on iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8. And, it kinda sucks. A lot.

We'll get to the app in a minute, but first up, just what is Socl. Having spent a little time playing around with it, I'm honestly not sure, but thankfully our pal Michael Archambault over at Windows Phone Central is on hand to help:

Socl is a truly unique experience which tries to mix Bing with social networking. The site can be described as a mixture between Pinterest and Tumblr; it is currently being run by Microsoft’s research division.

It's unique alright. You've got regular social network type posts, images, GIF's, Memes, all are on hand. It's possible to filter by content too; Socl for presumably everything, Picotale for Memes, Parties and Collage. On Windows Phone, Socl integrates with Microsoft's Blink app for creating GIF's, but naturally this is something we're not privy to on the iPhone.

So, the experience is a little confusing. If you go into it blind – as I did – it's hard to see at first exactly what it's all about. Hopefully that'll come with time, but what about the app? Well, it isn't very good. Not at all.

The problem lies in that the app isn't native, and that goes for Windows Phone and Android as well. It's basically a wrapped web app, and so while the experience is consistent across the platforms, that experience is pretty bad. The interface isn't great, it's laggy, riddled with bugs, slow, and just not a very good user experience.

The quality of the app is particularly disappointing given that Microsoft can do good apps on iOS. The latest version of SkyDrive for example is a good app, and it's a good, native iOS 7 app. Socl sadly isn't any of these things. In any case, if you're interested in taking a look, grab the app from the App Store at the link below. Be sure to let us know what you think about it, and be honest!

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Microsoft launches social network Socl on the iPhone, and it isn't very good


I really don't want to say bad things about Microsoft, but it really does seem like their SOP to release half-baked, amalgamated "everything" software and then fix it later.

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Socl, what's that?
I already have my hands full with just 2 social networks and I don't even use it that much other than a means of communication with friends on a weekly basis. Sorry Microsoft, I'll pass.

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This is great I'm sure for those windows phone users. It's so many social apps right now, I'm not sure how well it will do. Time will tell.

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I havnt tried the new sky drive yet but OneNote is a very good app by those other guys too. Can't say I will be trying this one though.

More and more Microsoft reminds of someone's grandmother twerking in the pub after too many pints. It is hard to process laughter, embarrassment and creepy all at the same time.