Is IM dead? Nah…

I used to work in the UK MSN Messenger team way back in the day so I have an interest to claim here, but I am loving Windows Live Messenger at the moment – specifically its Facebook chat functionality. Prompted by this post outlining how Messenger powers over 2.8 billion minutes of Facebook chat, it brought back some IM loving.

About 15 years ago it was all ICQ, then it was MSN or Yahoo!, now it’s a combination of Facebook, chatting from your inbox in Hotmail or Gmail, or just texting from phone to phone. In a corporate environment the enterprise IM solution is more a way of seeing who’s online or in a meeting – or acting as the bridge for VoIP/video calls. But if you think about user behaviour of staying logged into an IM client throughout the day, it makes sense to use that screentime as a snapshot of “what’s going on with my friends or family – regardless of whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace or other…”


Personally I’m not a fan of IMing from a web service: it’s slow, cumbersome and far too feature-restrained. But what I do love is being able to see when my Facebook friends are online – and chatting with them from my Messenger UI.

For websites, you can make it more social by plugging in Messenger Connect and letting people chat or share your content with their buddies – or use Windows Live ID as authentication. Sound complex? Not really – it’s a pretty simple implementation using REST APIs, Controls and JavaScript library.

Get more info on the Windows Live & Facebook partnership here or download the latest Messenger here. Or add me to Windows Live

Published by AndyRobb

Andy’s so into web there’s a suspicion he’s actually Peter Parker MK II. Having spent a couple of years at the Microsoft mothership in Seattle you’ll most probably hear him rambling about business opportunity, experiences that ‘pop’ but most probably just something about music.

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