It was announced yesterday that Microsoft found a taker for some of its Windows Live platform services in Bebo, the San Francisco based social network that is very popular in the UK.
Bebo, the global social networking site, and Microsoft today announced an alliance to bring the Windows Live Messenger service, the world’s largest consumer instant messaging (IM) network, to Bebo users. Additionally, Bebo and Windows Live will allow users to seamlessly exchange their contact information to invite and connect through their respective services.
This deal marks the first time Microsoft has partnered with a social network for instant messaging and contacts.
The groundbreaking interface will enable all 36 million Bebo users worldwide who use Windows Live Messenger to display their Messenger presence and IM with their Bebo friends directly on the Bebo service.
Equally, the partnership offers Bebo the opportunity to grow its network through the Windows Live Messenger user base. Windows Live Messenger is free to download, is available in 26 languages and is used in more than 60 countries by more than 280 million active users each month. Additionally, this partnership includes the use of the Windows Live Contacts API. This API allows users the ability to freely import and export their contacts and relationships between the services, ultimately giving users the choice where and how they wish to use their social network.
Bebo users with Windows Live Messenger will add an “IM Me” icon which will appear on their profile page. In displaying their presence, all Bebo users – regardless of whether they have a Windows Live ID or not – will be able to, with one click, begin an IM conversation with each other.
Yes, the press release says integrates, but ”interoperates” is probably closer to the mark since Bebo is not giving up its own native Web-based instant messaging facility or contacts list. No financial terms for this deal have been revealed.