Microsoft has opened Socl, a search-meets-social website, to the public for beta testing.

Story highlights

Microsoft opens Socl -- its social-meets-search site

Launched for testing in May, the site remains an open beta test

Anyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account can access it

CNN  — 

After a long period of closed beta testing, Microsoft made the beta version of its social network, Socl, available to everyone on Tuesday.

Socl initially launched this May. It’s a search-meets-social networking website that looks more like Pinterest than Facebook, and has until now been open only to invited Microsoft employees and college students.

Now, everyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account can access it. The sign-up process is effortless – users simply connect their account with Socl. They can then start sharing content (e.g. photos, videos, links), and comment on other members’ posts.

Socl’s forever-scrolling front page, which shows posts from all users, can feel a bit random. Also, though the site offers categorization by tags, it’s not that easy to find the content you want.

Overall, Socl is a solid time-waster at this point. As more people join, the site should become more usable, but the question is: With all the social networks and content-sharing sites around, will Socl ever reach critical mass?

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.