With the recent refresh of the Windows Live Essentials beta, Windows Live Messenger has been updated to now support Facebook chat in addition to its standard IM service. This new feature further enhances the IM client software, which is already more of a social dashboard than a simple chat application.
Thanks to the (optional) “full view” feature, Messenger users can check on social networking updates, photos, and status messages from Windows Live friends, Facebook friends and MySpace friends or reads news from MSN.com. If you click “connect more services,” you can also pick dozens of others to your dashboard, including popular social sites like flickr, Twitter, Pandora, Digg, Hulu, YouTube, Photobucket, Last.fm and many more.
Now, the new version of Messenger kicks up the social networking integration to the next level by allowing you to not only see and respond to social networking activity via the dashboard, but to directly chat with Facebook friends in real-time. Even if you don’t use Messenger IM itself, the app can now function as an always-on “people app” that alerts you when your friends come online in Facebook, explains Chris Jones on the Windows Live Team blog.
To get the new Messenger, just head over to the Windows Live Essentials beta homepage here and hit the “download now” button.