Janrain Participates in Windows Live Messenger Connect Beta

Windows Live ConnectToday, Microsoft formally announced the Windows Live Messenger Connect beta. Messenger Connect is a single API that provides access to a user’s Activities, Calendars, Contacts, Profiles, and photos stored in Windows Live SkyDrive.

For Janrain Engage customers this means any user who logs into your website with a Windows Live ID is able to invite their friends to your site and publish their activities on your site back to the Windows Live Messenger chat client.  Messenger Connect also enables websites to read and write to a user’s activity feed. An activity feed could be uploading a photo, befriending someone, posting a video, updating a status message etc. When your website displays those activities performed by a user’s friends on your site and filters out the rest, the experience is much more relevant and personal to the end user, which can result in the average time spent by the user on your website going up.

Rather than launch a new social networking service, Microsoft chose to make Messenger complement the world’s most popular social networks. It is not hard to see why. Messenger has a global user base of over 320 million and its users spend approximately 9% of total Internet minutes worldwide. This is a large and captive online user base. Recently, Microsoft also announced that the new Messenger will allow users to see what their contacts across other social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace are doing. This is a step in the right direction. The increasing user-centric nature of social networks is leading to more open online communities across the Internet. Rather than create more islands of users, it is nice to see networks building bridges between the silos that already exist.

Janrain enjoys a close partnership with Microsoft and has had the opportunity to participate in the Messenger Connect early adoption program. We will launch support for Messenger Connect publishing in July and a deeper integration with activity feeds later this year. As always, our goal is to bring new and innovative solutions to our customers that are easy to deploy and provide a more engaging user experience.