Users of Microsoft's Outlook email program can now plug into Facebook and Windows Live via the Outlook Social Connector to receive real-time social network updates while browsing email.
Quoting a Nielsen report, Paco Contreras Herrera, Group Product Manager for Microsoft Office, said that 67% of the global online population goes online to visit social networks and blogs.
“The Outlook Social Connector doesn't add another social network into the mix; rather it offers busy people the convenience of accessing them in Outlook,” he explained.
LinkedIn and MySpace for the Outlook Social Connector were made available in Outlook last year.
“Now you'll be able to view status updates and photos right next to an email,” Herrera added. “Also, you will be able to grow your social and professional network directly within Outlook by simply adding ‘Friends’ to Facebook and Windows Live directly from the Outlook People Pane.”
A new version of the Outlook Social Connector (v1.1) has also been released, offering the ability to receive real-time updates in Outlook’s ‘People Pane’.
Herrera continued, “We built the Outlook Social Connector with privacy and security in mind. The information people share is a personal choice, so it's up to you to determine what you share, and with whom.
“Working closely with key partners including Facebook, our goal is to help you stay in touch with the people you care about, and simplify your daily routine.”
You can watch a video that explains the changes to Outlook’s Social Connector here.