Messenger Connect Overview

Current information about Live Connect is now available in the Windows Live Developer Center. The information in the following sections is provided for legacy purposes only.

You can use Windows Live Messenger Connect to connect what users do on your site with all of their Windows Live friends and contacts. By using the Messenger Connect APIs, you can add features such as authentication, instant messaging, and activity feeds to your application, creating intuitive experiences that tightly integrate your application with Windows Live.

Messenger Connect focuses on three core scenarios:

  • Identity. More than 500 million Windows Live IDs are used every month. With Messenger Connect, your application can help users sign in and sign up quickly. Because many users already sign in to Windows Live through other services like Windows Live Hotmail, they can connect with your site in as few as two clicks. You can also automatically fill in registration forms with information such as user email address, simplifying the steps that users must follow to register with your site.
  • Social distribution. Messenger Connect includes a sharing badge, which enables users to easily share what they're doing on your site with their friends and contacts.
  • Real-time shared experiences. People want to be able to share experiences like inviting friends to your site in real time, chatting with their friends without leaving your site, and seeing who among their friends and contacts are also on your site when they are. Messenger Connect includes a full-featured chat control, through which users can chat with other people on your site. You can also use the Messenger Connect JavaScript library to enable users to have individual conversations with their friends and contacts without leaving your site. They can even chat with other Windows Live users who are also visiting your site—even if they are not on each other's contact lists.

The following topics contain high-level overviews that describe Messenger Connect services, explain how they work together, and provide guidance for integrating the services with your application.