Microsoft announced on Monday that Facebook chat is now available to Hotmail customers worldwide.
The software giant originally announced the functionality back in September but only six regions were able to make use of it. Microsoft now says everywhere Facebook is available worldwide will be able to take advantage of the functionality. Hotmail program manager Dick Craddock admitted that Microsoft may have lost out to Google for being first to bring chat to the inbox but “we have now gone a step further and brought both our own chat and Facebook chat into your inbox.”
Microsoft says the number of Facebook Windows Live users has increased by nearly 2.5 million since announcing the availability of Facebook chat in Messenger worldwide two weeks ago. Over 20 million users now use Facebook chat with Windows Live. “With three out of four Hotmail customers using Facebook, we expect that many more people will want to take advantage of this feature, now that it’s available from your Hotmail inbox,” says Craddock.
Microsoft announced earlier this month that the company is expanding where Messenger Facebook chat is available. 75 million customers can now access Facebook chat inside Messenger worldwide. It’s not all about Facebook however. Microsoft says it’s working to build partnerships with Messenger to help users connect to a broad array of social networks. The number of connections Messenger customers are making to LinkedIn has more than doubled since November. Meanwhile, MySpace and YouTube connections have grown nearly 50% to remain part of the top services among more than 75 Windows Live services.