It was announced that the Windows Live division has partnered with five social networks - LinkedIn, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, and Tagged to facilitate address book portability, as a part of the commitment to supporting data portability initiatives. Using the Windows Live Contacts API, announced at this month's MIX08, the users of the social networks can easily import their Windows Live contacts into the social network web sites. Starting today, you can visit www.facebook.com and www.bebo.com to find your friends using the Windows Live Contacts API. Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn will be live in the coming months.
Additionally, a new site, Invite2Messenger, will let social network users invite their friends from their social networks to join their Windows Live Messenger contact list. As of today, Facebook works, with the other networks coming soon.
This 2-way street for moving relationships from site to site is more secure than other methods, like "screen scraping," which is the term used to describe the process of allowing one site access to your address book by providing your login credentials (or vice versa). This new process respects your privacy while still allowing for the open flow of data.