Tap into your inner creator with Socl and BLINK

Two big pieces of news out of Microsoft Research today.

First, FUSE Labs, creator of Socl (pronounced “social”), has today released four new ways for people to express and share ideas on the Web. Here’s a quick backgrounder on Socl: Initially created as an experimental research project in social research, Socl has evolved into an online community where people express ideas through collages that take seconds to create and are easy to collect, comment upon and share. Usually, Socl posts are a mix of images, links and videos found on the Web and annotated with titles and captions. Socl posts are easily shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter.

The four new experiences Socl has released are:

Picotale – enables a rapid, fun and easy way to generate little stories or memes. Simply type in your text and hit go. Powered by Bing, you simply enter a search and Picotale delivers an image including your text. You hit go again and again until you find a combo you like and then post on Socl.

Collage – New today is the ability to upload images from a personal device or computer and mix and match with content harvested from the Web.

Video Party – allows you to easily produce video playlists from YouTube, Bing, Vimeo and chat about them with other Socl users.

BLINK - Socl will also include a sharing space for sharing your BLINKs with the broader community.

Speaking of BLINKs, the Interactive Visual Media Group in Microsoft Research released two apps today under the BLINK brand. BLINK Cliplets app for Windows 8, which lets you combine and loop static and dynamic elements from short video clips, and an update to the BLINK app for Windows Phone 8, which lets you capture a burst of images when you take a photo so you can select the best shot. The updated Windows Phone 8 app’s new capabilities include the ability to create and share short video clips.

For more on Socl, watch the video above and then head on over to Next at Microsoft to read the rest of Clayton’s post. For a deeper dive on BLINK for Windows Phone 8 and BLINK Cliplets, check out this feature story from Microsoft Research and this post from Windows Phone Blog Editor Michael Stroh.

Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog