Microsoft opened the doors to its Socl social network back in December, but the company has kept fairly quiet about its plans for the site ever since. After launching as a limited beta, Socl's mix of Facebook and Pinterest-like features has left Microsoft's social experiment in a research state with little focus on promoting its existence. Microsoft is aiming to keep Socl somewhat relevant with the addition of some new creation tools to help users share video and image content on the service.
The first addition is a Blink feature that uses an app for Windows 8 or Windows Phone to create short animated GIFs. The GIFs, or Cliplets as Microsoft calls them, can then be shared on Socl. Microsoft has a dedicated section for Blink, alongside three other creation tools. The Collage tool has been updated with a method to collage together images, links, and videos from the web or those uploaded directly to the service. Pictotale is another addition to the service, acting as a meme-generator to overlay text on popular images. The final addition is Video Party, which simply creates a playlist of videos to share with other Socl users.
Microsoft doesn't appear to have any ambitious plans for Socl, instead it's clearly using the service as a test bed for individual social-related research projects. The new Blink feature originally debuted on Windows Phone after the Microsoft Research projected created an app to take multiple photos and create an animated GIF. If the individual features prove to be popular then it's possible we'll see them more tightly integrated into Microsoft's devices and services in the future.