Realtime Shared Experiences with Messenger Connect

Realtime Shared Experiences with Messenger Connect

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Realtime Shared Experiences with Messenger ConnectCommunication and sharing has emerged over the past few years as a critical element making experiences more personalized and compelling across the web. Lots of sharing is done asynchronously (via activity feed or email), but for some things you want real time sharing (it is tough to view photos or watch a TV show together asynchronously Smile). The challenge is: how do you know when your friends are available to engage in a real-time sharing experience, knowing the “presence” of your friends is important because it can shape how you engage with them. Having an always-on real time client is essential, because the likelihood of both users being on the same website at the same time is low except for very special circumstances. Connecting to a persistent chat client via a third party website is necessary to deliver on these scenarios.

People want to be able to share experiences like inviting a friend to a site in realtime, chatting with their friends without context switching, and see who else is on the web site. By integrating Messenger, the #1 most used free instant messaging service in the world (see some staggering stats) into your site you will be able to:

  • Let users connect with their friends in a differentiated, more personal mode of communication
  • Reach their friends no matter where they are, on your web site, on their phone, in one of the many Messenger clients (Windows, Mac, iPhone, etc.)

By adding real time experiences to your site, you are in essence making the site do something it didn’t do before, and conversations are “sticky”, therefore user engagement will go up.

Some shared experiences you can add to your site are:

  • Targeted (to one person or a few people), real time sharing of content. An example of where this is useful is sharing a picture that you want to discuss, or collaborating on travel plans – things that require realtime action by the other party.
  • Creating immersive experiences and reducing context switching - if someone is watching your glorious full screen video or playing an immersive game, they may be worried they’ll miss conversations or not be able to chat with their friends, embedding chat in your media consumption or game play experience will reduce context switching.
  • Rendezvous (are my friends on this site?) – for high traffic properties such as live streaming events or video play back, being able to tell if your friends are on the site (after opt-in of course) can drive more time on the site and shared experiences.

Implementation Options

There are a range of implementation options ranging from simplest (least amount of time to code) to most flexible:

Sharing Badge – the sharing badge can be added to a site with just a few lines of HTML and can allow users to publish/broadcast to Messenger Social or IM content to one of their friends

Chat control for real time eventsto allow users on the same page to leave real time messages for each other. Users will be able to see the messages from their friends and others on the site.

Messenger Connect Chat control

UI Controlsa set of JavaScript building blocks which can be combined to speed up development. These controls can be easily skinned using CSS and extended using JavaScript. Try the Controls Playground.

JavaScript Library – the most advanced and most powerful way to integrate real time experiences into your site.

To get started adding real-time shared experiences so your site, check out this documentation.

Angus Logan (@anguslogan)
Senior Technical Product Manager
Windows Live

12 Comments
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  • I will not implement this until you have a SHARE COUNT...... dont sleep in the threes :(

  • What about the windows live Hotmail inbox :S i can't find the way to integrate it. Doesn't it has a control or APIs ??

  • @Brandon LeBlanc

    Integratins and deploying Messenger Connect to the Windows Blog is great news!

    I'd really like someone to post anything about how to deploy it ;)

  • My website is a really poor php one, created with a site builder. I'm developing a new version in asp.net to replace it, and I'm willing to develop a blog on it.

    Developing the blog system and the rss feed system is a matter that I'll take care later. What I want right now is to find a way for my visitors to leave comments.

    I found this tool provided by Fecebook: developers.facebook.com/.../comments

    Is there anything similar but using the Windows Live sharing options instead of the favebook one (as what I share in the Windows Live Network is also shared on Myspace and Facebook).

  • timeorb
    1 Posts

    When iam i going bee able chat with my amazon friends.

    techcrunch.com/.../amazon-now-taps-into-facebook-for-social-product-recommendations

  • @Angus, I understand that the chat control is supposed to be for real time event scenarios. But I was hopping to use it as a simple messaging board for my viewers to get back to me. It is possible to think about extending the keep alive time of the messages to a few days perharps since indefinetly is too variable.

  • Why is there no REST interface for the chat control? Would be a great way to implement bots or similar things..

    And another question: Why does this blog doesn't use Windows Live ID but it's own user database?

  • @BuciboLebo - we will be integrating and deploying Messenger Connect to The Windows Blog this summer :-)

  • Is this site not a perfect candidate for the discussed technology. I think so.

  • keoz
    7 Posts

    That means I cannot use any chat feature without the javascript control? I would like that since I cannot port my application to an out of browser app or a WPF app

  • @keoz - the "Chat control" is JavaScript based.

  • keoz
    7 Posts

    Is the chat control available for Silverlight?