Microsoft adds new creation tools to its social-search project

Microsoft is enhancing its Socl social-search site with new creation tools, including an animated GIF creator.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft's FUSE (Future Social Experiences) Labs is adding new capabilities to Socl, its experimental social-networking site, including a tool for creating animated GIFs.

Socl, which launched in 2011, gets four new "creation experiences" as of today, June 18.

One of the four involves Blink, an app that debuted for Windows Phone 8 in February of this year. Blink was an app for capturing a burst of images. The updated version of Blink will be able to transform those images into a flipbook of images.

The Blink Cliplets technology -- a mash-up of the Microsoft Research Blink and Cliplets technologies -- will allow users to create animated GIFs for sharing on Socl and other social networks. (Cliplets was/is a tool for blurring borders between video and photography.) Blink Cliplets can be created on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices, but viewed by users with any kind of computing platform/device.

The other new creation tools launching today for Socl include a meme generator called Picotale; an updated version of Socl's collage-creation tool, which allows users to blend their own content with Web content; and a curated video-party tool.

Socl combined ideas the FUSE Labs teams have pioneered in some of their other experimental projects, like Montage (a photo collage app) and Kodu (game programming). Microsoft built Socl using TypeScript, its superset of JavaScript. Socl builds on top of some of the core Bing programming interfaces to power its search and filtering capabilities. Socl is meant to be a complement to other social networks, not a replacement, Microsoft officials have said.

Here's a new YouTube video showing off the new creation tools for Socl.

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