Be Part of 300 Million "Shared Experiences" with Messenger Connect

Adam DuVander
Jun. 28 2010, 07:05PM EDT

Microsoft has released a suite of tools to integrate its popular Messenger client into your website. Called Messenger Connect, the new API embeds a Windows Live Messenger chat window on your site, which enables visitors to share links, collaborate, or just stay connected to friends.

Skeptic Geek compares the platform to Google Buzz:

Windows Messenger has a user base of 299 million, compared to Gmail's 173 million. I also think that a greater proportion of Windows Messenger users will actively use its social features than the proportion of Gmail users who actively use Buzz.

Indeed, it makes sense. Instant messaging is, by its nature, more immersive than email. The concept behind Messenger Connect is to allow users the option of opening up or maintaining a conversation while on another site. If you think that sounds like multi-tasking overload, consider that BBC lets its viewers watch with friends.

Microsoft's Angus Logan explains three common use cases:

  • Targeted (to one person or a few people), real time sharing of content.
  • Creating immersive experiences and reducing context switching
  • Rendezvous (are my friends on this site?)

The API can be as simple as a copy-paste widget, or as powerful as one wants with the full JavaScript library. Users must naturally authorize sites to use its Messenger data. This happens via OAuth WRAP, a fairly new and robust method we first mentioned in our November roundup of Open Web Foundation licenses.

Logan also goes a little deeper into integration in this Channel 9 video from Microsoft.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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