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Microsoft opens up social network Socl

Microsoft has opened up its social networking site, Socl, to the wider public, the company has revealed.

Up until now, the site, which launched discreetly more than a year ago, has been limited to a small set of users and has faced nearly a year of private beta testing.

It was developed by Microsoft's Fuse Labs unit which apparently set out to "democratize design and make beautiful posts" and "focused on the future of social experiences and learning".

Socl, pronounced 'social', allows users to share content in an online gallery similar to Pinterest and is powered by Microsoft search engine Bing. Anyone with a Facebook or Microsoft account can now sign up and users are encouraged to create "rich, visual collages" based on interests which can then be shared on Facebook or Twitter.

"Socl is an experimental research project with a minimal set of features," said the company, confirming that it is unlikely to compete against the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

According to Google Trends, which monitors search terms around the globe, the site is most popular in India.