Microsoft said on Thursday that it is introducing a new social API that allows new ways for partners and developers to connect with Messenger.
John Richards and Angus Logan took the stage at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam to announce Messenger Connect. The new API brings together several existing APIs (Windows Live ID, Contacts API, Messenger Web Toolkit) into one single API.
For developers and partners this means it's even easier to integrate Windows Live contacts into their technical environments. For end users, think Facebook Connect. This means you can now easily share your friends list from messenger and profile information with third party applications or websites.
Microsoft is taking the security aspect of sharing Windows Live contacts very seriously. "We believe that the privacy of a customers’ data is a critical element of a secure web and the customer should be in control," said Ori Amiga, program manager for Windows Live. Websites cannot access any of a user’s non-public information from Windows Live without prior consent from the customer. The consent form is shown below.
Messenger Connect is currently under a private beta with a small number of companies. Microsoft is planning on opening up a new developer portal more broadly in the coming months.