Twitter confirmed to be coming back to Windows Live

By damaster | Posted July 2, 2011 10 comments

Microsoft discontinued support for the Twitter connected service in Windows Live back in June 2010 due to policy changes made on Twitter’s end, and never reached an agreement with Twitter since then to make it available again. During Mobile World Congress 2011, Microsoft announced that Twitter will be integrated into Windows Phone "Mango", however nothing was said about Twitter for Windows Live.

In April earlier this year, we noticed a test tweet from Microsoft which seems to indicate that Twitter might be coming back to Windows Live. Today while I was setting up my Windows Phone "Mango" beta and see if I could add my Twitter account to my phone, I was greeted with this dialogue:

Twitter on Windows LiveTo add Twitter on your phone, you’ll need to connect it to your Windows Live account.

This feature currently doesn’t work on Mango beta builds at the moment, and the reason why it doesn’t is simple – it’s not available on Windows Live yet. (In fact, because I’ve added the LinkedIn connected service to Windows Live, I’ve got LinkedIn integration automatically working on my Windows Phone Mango beta without needing to set it up.) Based on this, we now know that before Windows Phone Mango ships in Fall 2011, you should be able to add Twitter as a connected service to Windows Live again.

In fact, Manan Kakkar also shared with us via a tweet earlier in May that Twitter on Windows Live will also have reply-to and other features:

[blackbirdpie url=http://twitter.com/#!/manan/status/73103106954625024]

Indeed, to confirm this, we’ve been following the @twitWL account, which was setup purely for the purpose of testing Twitter on Windows Live (and Windows Phone Mango). You can see a bunch of tweets relating to replies, retweets, mentions, URL shortening, and hashtags. The application the tweets are coming from is labelled "Windows Phone (via WindowsLive)", which links to WindowsPhone.com at the moment.

One question that has yet to be answered is how will Twitter actually link with your contacts on Windows Live and Windows Phone? I follow @liveside for example (and you should too!), but I don’t have a contact named LiveSide in my Windows Live contact list nor my Windows Phone Peoples hub. How will Windows Live and Windows Phone treat these Twitter accounts? Will they show up on my contacts list? I really hope Microsoft figures out an intuitive way to make this work.

So we expect that Microsoft will bring Twitter back to Windows Live anytime between now and when Windows Phone Mango ships in Fall 2011. We certainly hope it’s sooner rather than later!

Posted July 2nd, 2011 at 10:48 pm
  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Hopefully they’ll add the functionality to post Tweets from Windows Live Messenger/Home. So one status update could potentially go to, for example, Windows Live, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

    • Anonymous

      You know, you can actually do this now. It just requires a bit of spit and duct tape. Link your WL and MySpace accounts to share status updates. Then set MySpace to sync with Twitter. When you post an update to WL Messenger/Home, it updates MySpace, which in turn sends out a tweet. If it contains a link or is too long, MySpace will even provide a lnk.ms shortener for you. Anything you manually tweet also shows up in Messenger social (albeit a bit delayed) via MySpace. Come to think of it, that’s the only reason I actually use MySpace.

      • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

        I don’t use MySpace… but if I ever do, I’ll do that. Thanks for the info!
        Subject: [liveside] Re: Twitter confirmed to be coming back to Windows Live

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    Hopefully they’ll add the functionality to post Tweets from Windows Live Messenger/Home. So one status update could potentially go to, for example, Windows Live, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

    • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

      You know, you can actually do this now. It just requires a bit of spit and duct tape. Link your WL and MySpace accounts to share status updates. Then set MySpace to sync with Twitter. When you post an update to WL Messenger/Home, it updates MySpace, which in turn sends out a tweet. If it contains a link or is too long, MySpace will even provide a lnk.ms shortener for you. Anything you manually tweet also shows up in Messenger social (albeit a bit delayed) via MySpace. Come to think of it, that’s the only reason I actually use MySpace.

      • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

        I don’t use MySpace… but if I ever do, I’ll do that. Thanks for the info!
        Subject: [liveside] Re: Twitter confirmed to be coming back to Windows Live

  • Anonymous

    For the longest time, I have always felt that there was more to the story between Windows Live & Twitter. The excuse that we were given was not good enough for me. Twitter has to many client and partner sites to just single out Windows Live and not connect with them. Also there was never a offical Twitter client made for Windows Phones back then either while everyone else (iPhone,Android and Blackberry) had one. It is sad that it has taken this long for Twitter to make a comeback on Windows Live . I don’t think we will ever find out the real truth of what really went on, but it is good to see it is coming back even though we are last behind all the other clients.

  • JSYOUNG571

    For the longest time, I have always felt that there was more to the story between Windows Live & Twitter. The excuse that we were given was not good enough for me. Twitter has to many client and partner sites to just single out Windows Live and not connect with them. Also there was never a offical Twitter client made for Windows Phones back then either while everyone else (iPhone,Android and Blackberry) had one. It is sad that it has taken this long for Twitter to make a comeback on Windows Live . I don’t think we will ever find out the real truth of what really went on, but it is good to see it is coming back even though we are last behind all the other clients.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll be very interested to see how this plays out as well. It did seem inevitable to me that a Twitter connection with WL would be required to power the WP7 integration. Twitter’s previous integration with WL was nothing to write home about; it basically allowed your tweets to show up in your What’s New Feed (and those of your friends) via your public Twitter RSS feed. There was no communication in the other direction.

    When WL initially rolled out Wave 4 to beta testers, we immediately noticed that along with the improved FB integration, a lot of garbage was showing up in our WL Contacts, which turned out to be all the fan pages we had liked on FB. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still see them when I look at my unified Messenger/FB contacts on WL. At the time, the team said it was a necessary evil to allow updates from FB to bubble through Messenger social. That’s funny, because on WP7, Microsoft has figured out how to quiet a lot of that noise (but not all of it). I see my FB friends in the People hub, but no trace of liked pages among my contacts, and that’s with the “Show all my Facebook friends” option turned on. Yet when I pan over to What’s New, it’s littered with updates from Zune, Lifehacker, Queen, and a zillion other FB pages I’ve liked. These are not all people, and certainly not people in the sense that I know them.

    My guess is that they’ll do something similar with Twitter. It’s a little harder, because Twitter doesn’t really distinguish between individuals and other entities. My feed and Ashton Kutcher’s feed are exactly the same (he’s got a few more followers). I follow friends on Twitter, but also media outlets, like LiveSide. So how will WP7 know who’s who? Well, there’s an email address behind each Twitter user, right? So if you’re in my contact list, then I assume WL will try to match up your Twitter identity based on that email address (or maybe a manual override), and the Twitter activity you’ll see will be limited to those linked identities. Otherwise, without some serious filtering tools, you can imagine that FB and Twitter noise would completely choke out your other updates.

     It makes me wonder whether WP7 needs another hub (or at least a group) – maybe called “Likes” or something – that would exclusively contain those 2nd tier updates from services like FB.

    There’s also the issue of how WP7 will handle updates from the device to multiple services. I’ve been generally impressed with the way it currently handles FB. When I post an update, I can individually check boxes that indicates whether it should go WL and/or FB. Of course, I also have the services linked on the back end, so I was initially worried that would cause each update to be double-posted to FB. So far, that hasn’t happened. Of course, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, because if I look at my personal What’s New feed on my WP7, I’ve got duplicate updates (one to WL, one to FB) with a link each service’s update so I can manage the comments. It’s totally different from the way WL Home/Profile presents the updates; there, WL updates always trump those on other services, so I can’t follow comments on my updates posted on FB without actually going there.

    Whew. It’s enough to make your head spin! Should be interesting. Stay tuned…

  • http://gregsedwards.wordpress.com/ Greg Edwards

    I’ll be very interested to see how this plays out as well. It did seem inevitable to me that a Twitter connection with WL would be required to power the WP7 integration. Twitter’s previous integration with WL was nothing to write home about; it basically allowed your tweets to show up in your What’s New Feed (and those of your friends) via your public Twitter RSS feed. There was no communication in the other direction.

    When WL initially rolled out Wave 4 to beta testers, we immediately noticed that along with the improved FB integration, a lot of garbage was showing up in our WL Contacts, which turned out to be all the fan pages we had liked on FB. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still see them when I look at my unified Messenger/FB contacts on WL. At the time, the team said it was a necessary evil to allow updates from FB to bubble through Messenger social. That’s funny, because on WP7, Microsoft has figured out how to quiet a lot of that noise (but not all of it). I see my FB friends in the People hub, but no trace of liked pages among my contacts, and that’s with the “Show all my Facebook friends” option turned on. Yet when I pan over to What’s New, it’s littered with updates from Zune, Lifehacker, Queen, and a zillion other FB pages I’ve liked. These are not all people, and certainly not people in the sense that I know them.

    My guess is that they’ll do something similar with Twitter. It’s a little harder, because Twitter doesn’t really distinguish between individuals and other entities. My feed and Ashton Kutcher’s feed are exactly the same (he’s got a few more followers). I follow friends on Twitter, but also media outlets, like LiveSide. So how will WP7 know who’s who? Well, there’s an email address behind each Twitter user, right? So if you’re in my contact list, then I assume WL will try to match up your Twitter identity based on that email address (or maybe a manual override), and the Twitter activity you’ll see will be limited to those linked identities. Otherwise, without some serious filtering tools, you can imagine that FB and Twitter noise would completely choke out your other updates.

     It makes me wonder whether WP7 needs another hub (or at least a group) – maybe called “Likes” or something – that would exclusively contain those 2nd tier updates from services like FB.

    There’s also the issue of how WP7 will handle updates from the device to multiple services. I’ve been generally impressed with the way it currently handles FB. When I post an update, I can individually check boxes that indicates whether it should go WL and/or FB. Of course, I also have the services linked on the back end, so I was initially worried that would cause each update to be double-posted to FB. So far, that hasn’t happened. Of course, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, because if I look at my personal What’s New feed on my WP7, I’ve got duplicate updates (one to WL, one to FB) with a link each service’s update so I can manage the comments. It’s totally different from the way WL Home/Profile presents the updates; there, WL updates always trump those on other services, so I can’t follow comments on my updates posted on FB without actually going there.

    Whew. It’s enough to make your head spin! Should be interesting. Stay tuned…