Facebook Finally Hooks up With Outlook

…our goal is to help you stay in touch
with the people you care about,
and simplify your daily routine.

— Paco Contreras Herrera, Group Product Manager, MS Office

Now you can surf the web and stay connected with your network.
All from the comfort of your Inbox.

Microsoft Outlook Social Connector connects your email inbox to Facebook with a plugin for Outlook.

This is not another social network site. As Microsoft puts it, the Facebook plugin “offers busy people the convenience of accessing them in Outlook.”

Business Embracing Employee Social Networking?

Business may want to adapt the Outlook Facebook plugin. As reported in Information Week, estimates of employee non-business online activities at the workplace average of between 30 and 75 minutes per day.
With the use of online social networks growing, companies have seen
an increasing number of employees accessing the sites in the workplace.
A recent Cisco-sponsored study of 512 IT decision-makers in the United States,
Japan, Germany, China, and India found that 56% determined that employees
used unsupported applications. Of those, 68% were accessing social networking sites.
Information Week, Microsoft Outlook enhances Facebook Integration

Benefits to using the Outlook Social Connector Facebook plugin include:

  1. Easy install downloadable plugin or update for Outlook 2010 users.
  2. Provides real-time updates in the Outlook “People Pane.”
  3. Synchs contacts with Facebook profiles to get friends’ pictures, contact details
  4. Adds recent conversations.
  5. Shows shared appointments.
  6. Displays profile and status updates.

Drawbacks? The jury is out this early in its release. The only detractor is that Social Connector is a one way receiver. It does not enable broadcast of status updates. At least, not yet.

Privacy?

Seems Microsoft has weighed the privacy concerns tied to your contacts too. According to Mashable, “Outlook will only pull data from e-mails connected to Facebook accounts. If your business e-mail isn’t linked to your Facebook, your data stream won’t appear in Outlook Social Connector.”

Want to learn more?

Read the full post on the Microsoft Office blog here.

Download Microsoft Social Connector here.

Get the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector provider for Facebook here.

Watch the video on Microsoft Social Connector and Facebook.

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