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Leaked ‘Tulalip’ Site Points To Microsoft Social Efforts

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A leaked web page suggests that Microsoft might be stepping up its social networking efforts

Rumours are swirling on the web that Microsoft is working on a social networking platform to rival Google+, after a teaser landing page for a website called Tulalip was spotted online.

Online magazine Fusible stumbled upon the website – located at socl.com – on Thursday while doing domain name lookups. A screenshot of the site shows a green welcome page proclaiming “with Tulalip you can Find what you need and Share what you know easier than ever.” It seems to offer visitors the option to sign in using their Facebook or Twitter account.

The landing page has since been removed and replaced with a message that says: “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.”

Microsoft was contacted by eWEEK Europe for comment had not responded at the time of writing.

Building social search

The presence of Facebook and Twitter sign-ins on the landing page suggest that Tulalip may just be an extension of Microsoft’s current social search efforts. Microsoft already dabbles in social search, working with Facebook to index the social network’s user profiles and ‘Liked’ pages within Bing search results.

Microsoft also indexes Twitter updates, in order to make them easily searchable on Bing.

How Tulalip would bring these together is difficult to predict, but there is no doubt Microsoft is feeling the pressure to boost its social efforts, following the launch of Google+ two weeks ago. The new social network from Google claims to take more nuanced approach to social networking, giving users complete control over what content they share online and with whom they share it.

The Tulalip page may, of course, be a hoax. However, Fusible points out that “Tulalip” is the name of a group of Native American tribes located not far from Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is headquartered.

Update: Microsoft admits socl.com ownership

Microsoft has contacted eWEEK Europe with the following statement:

“Socl.com is an internal design project from one of Microsoft’s research teams which was mistakenly published to the web. We have no more information at this time.”