Messenger Connect’s application contacts feature discontinued

Dare Obasanjo posted a quick notice on the Windows Live Developers Blog announcing that the "Application Contacts" feature in Messenger Connect will be discontinued in six month’s time due to low user usage. For those who doesn’t know, the application contacts feature was used on websites where users may see the presence of other users and chat with them without knowing each other’s addresses. An example usage is on video-sharing sites, where a user may want to send an instant message to the creator of a video, but may not want to make that user a contact or share e-mail addresses. Here’s the official discontinuation notice:

In 2009, we introduced the application contacts feature, which makes it possible for web sites to offer the ability to IM based on site-defined user relationships. Messenger users can chat with other Messenger users based on the relationships they have on web sites without becoming Messenger friends and sharing email addresses.

Based on low usage of this feature, we have decided to remove support for application contacts in the Messenger Web Toolkit in six months.  Core IM functionality will continue to be supported after this date.