Windows Live Wave 4: A note about connecting Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

So you’ve probably all got your hands on Windows Live Essentials Wave 4 beta today, and have been playing with it for a bit (and a few glitches here and there). Looking at the comments our readers have left, we saw quite a few comments related to the Connected Services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and we’d like to make a few notes about this.

Facebook (and Facebook Chat)

4478.facebook_3d48ced3 News You can already connect Facebook to Windows Live and see the benefits of this much improved Connected Service. Here’s a list of things you can do once you’ve connected Facebook to Windows Live:

  • Facebook contacts will be integrated into Windows Live’s contact list, with automatic de-duplication of the contacts so you only have a single contact list for both networks in Windows Live
  • Posting your status updates, photos, and links directly to Facebook
  • Ability to see your Facebook contact’s status updates, photos, videos and links posted
  • Commenting on your Facebook contact’s status updates, photos, videos and links posted
  • People tag photos shared with you on Facebook within Windows Live
  • Round-trip people tagging within Windows Live Photo Gallery, with global people tag suggestion for a photo or video coming from Facebook
  • Upload photos and videos from Windows Live Photo Gallery and Movie Maker directly to Facebook

One thing to note though, is that Facebook Chat integration will be coming in Messenger Wave 4, but has not been implemented in the public beta. Rest assured that it will be coming this year though!

LinkedIn

4162.linkedin_7c3a4f6e News Microsoft has promised that LinkedIn will soon become a Connected Service for Windows Live. We expect that it will support contacts integration, posting of status updates, and viewing LinkedIn contact’s status updates within Windows Live too, similar to the way how the Facebook service works.

Twitter

0028.twitter_0b0132ef News If you’ve added the Wave 3 Twitter web activity before, your own Twitter updates will still appear on your Messenger social feed on your Profile, just as it used to work. However, if you’ve never added it to your Profile before, it seems like Microsoft has pulled the Twitter service from their “Connect Services” page (so don’t remove your Twitter web activity right now, as you won’t be able to add it back). Not sure why this is the case, could it be that Microsoft is working on a better connected Twitter service? Even if this is the case, we would like to make a few points as to the potential limitations we see with the Twitter integration.

First, you won’t see contacts integration between Twitter and Windows Live – if you’ve followed Bill Gates on Twitter, it wouldn’t make sense to have him in your Windows Live contact list, and on top of that, many Twitter accounts are not real persons, so contacts integration just wouldn’t make sense (although I would like to see Microsoft to prove me wrong). Because of this limitation though, it would also limit Windows Live from accessing those tweets that you follow. With Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, these all have their own contact list (and they’re real people), so once the contact lists are connected into Windows Live, you’ll be able to see these people’s status updates made on these social networks too. However, with Twitter, this is not the case, and it would be difficult to associate a tweet to a person (if it’s a person at all) on your Windows Live contact list.

As such, we expect that even if Microsoft does improve the Twitter connected service, it would simply be giving users the ability to post their status updates directly to Twitter from within Windows Live. Nothing more – unless Microsoft finds a way to match Twitter accounts to your Windows Live contact list.

So I hope I have answered most of your questions related to the Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter connected services within Windows Live. If you’ve got any more queries, please leave us a comment below!

Update: Some of you are having troubles with the Facebook contacts de-duplication. A tip would be if you had previously added the Facebook web activity to Windows Live back in the Wave 3 days, try remove the Facebook web activity, then reconnect the Facebook service to Windows Live again. You can do this by going to http://profile.live.com/services. Give it a day or so – the contacts de-duplication happens in the background on the server-side, so it is not dependent on any of the Essentials applications such as Messenger or Mail. Also, contacts clean-up may not work that well at the moment until you get the new Hotmail/Contacts Wave 4 upgrade.

Update 2: If you don’t have Hotmail Wave 4 yet, you won’t see your Facebook contact in your http://people.live.com contact list yet. They will only appear after you get the Hotmail Wave 4upgrade. For now, you’ll only see the de-duplicated Facebook contacts in:

  1. Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 – in the “Facebook” category
  2. Window Live Mail Wave 4 – Contacts view under “Social networks”
  3. Windows Live Profile Wave 4 – try typing your Facebook contact’s name in the search box