Wave 4: What’s New in Messenger?

Some of us caught a glimpse of the new WindowsLivePreview.com website which accidentally went live this morning for a short while. We were fortunate enough to capture some of the newly released info before it got taken offline again. We won’t repost the whole website here, but here’s some direct quotes and screenshots from Microsoft that we think would excite Messenger users (those marked with Star are new ones we haven’t mentioned before, other ones we have conveniently linked you to our previous coverage):

  • Tabbed conversations You can manage all your chats in one location so you can juggle multiple conversations in one place rather than having multiple windows popping up.
  • Integration of Bing results Integration of Bing search results makes it easier to add photos and videos from across the web without having to leave the conversation window.
  • Video message When your friends are offline, leave them a video message, similar to a voicemail but as a quick video that will be waiting for them when they sign in.
  • Badges Show your affiliation with an organization or social cause and have this show up next to your name when it fans out to your friends.
  • Hotmail integration If you’re one of over 200 million people who use both Hotmail and Messenger, you can now see who’s online and easily start a chat right from your inbox.
  • Messenger Companion This add-in for Windows internet Explorer detects when you’re on a website that one of your friends has shared content from and surfaces that update so you can instantly view what they’ve shared and comment right back.
  • Messenger for the Windows® Phone, iPhone and Blackberry Get the best mobile experience on these smartphones including access to all your contacts, seeing your social updates, starting a chat conversation, sharing photos and updating your status. Messenger often comes pre-installed on smartphones, but if it’s not on yours, just head over to the phone’s application marketplace.
  • Connect your other networks Messenger lets you bring together your friends, communications and updates from top social networking and sharing websites right into Messenger.
  • Receive social updates from Hotmail Star We’ll pull all the social updates sitting in your Hotmail inbox right into Messenger so you don’t have to go to two places.
  • Single contact list Star By bringing all these networks and updates together, we’ll also do the work to de-duplicate those contacts and give you one master list of friends with all the different ways to communicate and share content with them (across all those different networks).
  • Inline commenting Whether it’s Messenger updates or things you’ve pulled in from one of your networks, you’ll be able to comment right inline and have that post back to wherever the update came from.
  • Richer status updates Messenger has always made it easy to share text updates. Now, when you type in a URL, Messenger will grab a snippet of that web page and make it easy to share it, or when you drag in a photo or video, you can add a caption and share that with your friends.
  • Synchronized status updates Star When you post an update, you can have Messenger automatically synchronize that update with your other networks and vice versa.
  • Simple privacy settings Star Easily get started by choosing from one of three default privacy profiles that are the most common ways consumers like to share their data. The default is never expose your personal data to the public.
  • Availability by category Star Once you have those categories, it’s easy to choose your presence availability by category so you can be offline to one set of friends while you’re online to another — letting you decide who can reach you in real time.

Exciting stuff coming for Messenger Wave 4! Remember to visit http://www.windowslivepreview.com on April 28 for more info!