What looked like the beginning of a social search engine from Microsoft was spotted at socl.com. Fusible discovered that Microsoft owns the domain socl.com, visited the URL, and was greeted by a landing page for something called Tulalip.
The screen (pictured below) said: Welcome – With Tulalip you can find what you need and share what you know easier than ever. There was a link for “see how it works” and some boxes with people’s faces in them, reminiscent of the friend/follower display on various social networks. There was also the ability to sign in with either Facebook or Twitter.
J.B. at Fusible wrote:
The four letter domain socl.com would complement bing.com.
Although the site isn’t operational, visitors can get an idea of where Microsoft is going with the service called “Tulalip”, which also happens to be the name of a group of Native American tribes located not far from Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is headquartered.
If you go to socl.com now, you are greeted with the following message:
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.
So is this simply an experiment the company is testing internally for possible future Bing features? Matt McGee at Search Engine Land shares a screenshot of what it looked like if you tried to sign in with Twitter, and the authorization box said the app would be able to:
– Read tweets from your timeline
– See who you follow, and follow new people
– Update your profile
– Post tweets for you.
It’s hard to say just what the company is up to with this. Bing already has social search features of course, and will no doubt continue to improve upon them.