Windows Live Messenger has undergone some very extensive changes in Windows Live Essentials 2011. . It is now far more than just an instant messaging program, it is a fully functioning social networking centre which brings together all of your connected social networks inside the Messenger Social window so that you don’t have to visit all of those different websites which often means having to create yet another account.. Whether your family and friends are on Facebook or MySpace or any of the other services that you have chosen to connect to. You can see all of their updates, comment on them, share photos and videos with them without leaving your desktop in order to do so. Messenger has now become the ultimate social dashboard for staying in touch whilst eliminating the noise. Here are just a few of my favourite features.
In Messenger Social, your feeds are divided into the following categories, Highlights, Recent, Me,Photos and under the More tab, Status, Links and Videos.
The Highlights feed automatically filters all of your favourite friends and families updates. In other words, those friends that you tend to keep in touch with the most feature in your Highlights feed. This includes anyone on Messenger or Facebook or any other services that you have connected to. The Recent feed contains all of your contacts updates made recently and can contain their photos they have uploaded to SkyDrive or Facebook for example, a Video that they are sharing with you on YouTube, a new status update or link that they are sharing and also any new blog post they have made.
The Me feed as you might expect, contains everything that you have updated either in Messenger, on Windows Live or any other of your connected services such as Facebook or MySpace. This feed proves to be handy for viewing any comments that your family or friends have added to any of your updates, and you can reply to their comments from there.
The Photos feed contains any photos that your family and friends have uploaded to SkyDrive or Facebook, MySpace, Flickr etc, and also any videos they have uploaded and shared as well. You can comment on any photos and videos right there in the Messenger Social window, and if there are more than one photo, you will be able to see each one in a slideshow by simply hovering your mouse over them! You can comment on each individual photo in that photo album if you wish. You can also watch any shared videos as well, and comment on them. In fact Messenger Social on your desktop allows you to interact with any of your family and friends updates, photos, videos, links, status updates and their latest blog posts without moving from your desktop!
Of course if some of your friends are online at the same time, you can still have a conversation as always via the familiar Messenger window by simply clicking on their name, and whilst you are chatting, you can easily share a photo with each other by simply dragging it into the conversation window. And its not only the content from your PC that you can share, With one click, you can pull in your photos from online sites such as your SkyDrive or Facebook.
The new messenger also contains tabbed conversations as well,, a much requested feature by many Messenger users enabling you to ‘juggle’ multiple conversations instead of having lot’s of windows popping up. Also with the integration of Bing results, you can easily add photos and videos from anywhere on the Web without having to leave the conversation window in order to do so.
Another new addition that I like in particular is than you can choose to appear offline to everyone else whilst being online and chatting to just one person as you can see by the screen grab above. Now that’s handy! Want to return to the usual conversation only window? No problem! It’s just one click away to return to the familiar messenger window view.
There are lot’s of other new features besides these that I have mentioned in this post, these are my particular favourites. I have made no secret in the past of not being a big Messenger fan, only tending to use it to message my grandchildren but with the new Messenger Social and all the additional new features, from now on I won’t need to use anything else! I love it!
TG (Note. This particular post was originally posted on my Windows Live Space blog.)