Microsoft Socl and BLINK Camera App for Windows Phone 8 Update Released

Microsoft photo app BLINK adds animation, sharing features. Socl (pronounced 'social') adds four new ways for people to express and share ideas on the Web including animated GIF creation., Microsoft's social networking receives four new "creation experiences" as part of an update including the ability to create animated GIFs.

" users can also create animated GIFs for sharing using Blink Cliplets."

Socl posts usually 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. received its last update this past March of 2013, adding better post creation tools and a much more organized navigation bar.

Socl Create Experiences

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," explains Socl team.
  • Collage adds 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.
  • Socl will also include a sharing space for sharing your BLINKs with the broader community.

Microsoft also enabled last month to discover new and exotic destinations by creating collages about the places you would like to visit.

And, the new "riffing", "sometimes when new users come on the site and see a riff, they think it is like a Retweet on Twitter. But it is totally different. Look at it as expanding from an idea. It could be something similar, related or totally different," explains Microsoft.

Also, you can now become the "Collections Moderators" of your favorite collections and collect with your friends.

As well as "Us" Collections, that let you invite others to moderate a collection with you; you can also decide if you would like that collection to be visible to everyone or only your co-contributors.

And the updated BLINK app for Windows Phone 8, now "allows users to transform a burst of images into a flipbook of images."

The updated app now adds a new button to turn a group of shots into an animated flipbook called a "BLINK." Notes the article: "It's the perfect time span for capturing just a bit of motion--your baby's breaking smile, perhaps, or a back flip off a diving board."

The updated app also provides options for sharing BLINKs with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, email, and Socl, Microsoft's homegrown social network dedicated to collages and other artsy digital creations.

""BLINK," a Lens app that integrates right into your camera viewfinder, captures a total of 16 frames (or burst of images), beginning just before you press the camera button and ending about a second afterward, so you can pick the best shots."

Microsoft says the app has racked up more than 317,000 downloads and hundreds of 5-star reviews in the four months since its release.

Microsoft has highlighted new features and a little tutorial of how it all works:

Here is what's new in version 2 of BLINK:

  • Camera settings - change camera settings such as scene mode, exposure, white balance and ISO in capture mode
  • Animation - Quickly set the motion range for animation in addition to selecting the best shot after capture
  • Sharing - Share the animations to, Facebook, or Twitter
  • In-app viewing - View the animations in the in-app history, wait for a moment and they start animating!
  • Web gallery - From the in-app history, view your shared BLINKs in the web gallery
  • Save another - Your BLINKs are always saved within the app. Come back and save another shot to camera roll or change the animation range via "edit" in the in-app history

Microsoft Research has also released BLINK Cliplets app for Windows 8, which lets you combine and loop static and dynamic elements from short video clips.

Both the BLINK apps, are available from Windows Phone Store, download Cliplets, and an update BLINK app for Windows Phone 8.