Microsoft Kills Messenger Connect Feature that Lets Users Chat Without Being IM Contacts
Friday, 11 February 2011 13:33
Application Contacts in Messenger Connect has another six months to live, and then it will be heading to an early grave. Microsoft announced that it will be deprecating the Application Contacts feature this year, leaving Messenger Connect customers that are relying on the functionality enough time to search for alternatives.
But in all fairness, not all that many users are actually taken advantage of Application Contacts.
“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,” revealed Microsoft’s Dare Obasanjo.
“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.”
Via Messenger Connect, website owners can integrate the instant messaging experience of Windows Live Messenger right in their projects.
The premise was that the IM client would catalyze communications and drive loyalty. Messenger Connect Application Contacts allowed users of Windows Live Messenger to IM one another on third-party websites even though they weren’t Messenger friends or had each other’s contact data, including email address.
Obviously, with Microsoft killing support for application contacts, this will no longer be valid. Here is Microsoft's explanation of what Application Contacts was intended to enable for third-party sites:
“By making user A an application contact of user B, that application can enable users A and B, who are not on each other's Messenger contact list, to see each other's presence and send instant messages to one another.
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