Microsoft using So.cl domain hack for private beta of its new social network

socl

If you have been hoping to catch a glimpse of Microsoft’s new social network, called Socl, you won’t have any luck with the web address socl.com.  The service, which is in private beta, is currently only available to a very limited audience.  

The domain socl.com, which I first discovered back in July was being used by Microsoft for its secret social network, hasn’t resolved to a web site since November, when The Verge published its online exclusive of the service.  

While you won’t see anything yet at socl.com, if you want to try your luck at trying to access the private beta, you can visit the domain hack so.cl.  

Microsoft has taken the Chile country code domain <.cl> to make an already short web address <socl.com>, into an even shorter address <so.cl>. 

It’s possible the address will be used by Microsoft as a URL shortener for its new social service, or perhaps, a shortcut for people who find socl.com, one too many keystrokes.

I discovered the domain hack by chance. 

I had been receiving mysterious web traffic from cancun.cloudapp.net days before The Verge story went online.  Over the last few weeks, the login page offered no clues, that is, until today, when I checked the URL it redirected me to http://so.cl/privatebeta (screen shot).

Surprisingly, Microsoft has owned the domain hack so.cl since 2009, according to WHOIS records.  It has owned socl.com since July 2011.

With the new redirect, it appears Microsoft may be closer to making Socl available to a wider audience.

Discussion:  Techmeme, SlashGear, Marketing Land, brandchannel.com, Bitelia and Microsoft News

(Image of Microsoft’s Socl courtesy of The Verge)

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