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May 21, 2012

Microsoft's Social Network, is it Worth a 'Smile'?

By Julie Griffin, Contributing Writer

It’s pronounced “social,” and Microsoft (News - Alert) believes “” is going to rival Google + and Facebook. Hopefully for Microsoft, the network will be less awkward to use than it is to spell.

Because Microsoft’s social network is still very new, there is currently no way to upload photos, a predominate feature in popular social media venues. According to Business Insider, is currently being launched at a few college campuses nationwide. Perhaps these are the campuses that have Live@edu, Microsoft’s hosted e-mail service for academic institutions. is in many ways like Pinterest, Twitter (News - Alert), Google + and Facebook combined – although users’ only use of media is in sharing videos through YouTube.

The walk-through shows that users can log on to via Facebook (News - Alert) or Microsoft Live, after which a privacy disclosure pops up that states “ is an experiment in open search. That means your searches are viewable by other users and will also be available to third parties. does not automatically post your searches, comment or likes to your Facebook stream unless you choose this option. Also, we don’t contact your Facebook friends unless you invite them.”

What will draw from your existing Facebook account is your profile picture, since no image-uploading tool is currently available.

Just like Pinterest, Blogger and Google (News - Alert) +, users are encouraged to build their feed by selecting people to follow. In a way, it’s like Twitter as well, because your following status is inherently public. The categories of interests to select from are divided into high-resolution images and are divided into tech, innovation, food, travel, art architecture, movies, science and social media.

Like Google, you can share videos using YouTube (News - Alert). And instead of “liking” something as you would on Facebook, provides an option to “smile” at something.

Edited by Braden Becker
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