Facebook unveiled a new messaging system today that combines instant messaging, chat, email and txt messaging.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, revealed the new system on Monday and insisted “this is not email.” All current Facebook users will receive an @facebook.com email address based on their vanity name. The real news is that Microsoft’s Office Web Apps will be included in Facebook’s new messaging system. Facebook’s new messaging platform integrates the Office Web Apps to enable Facebook users to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
Announcing the integration, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Office, Takeshi Numoto said:
“I’m really excited about being able to make it even easier for people to use Office to access and share information across different devices, networks and platforms. With the Office Web Apps on Facebook, you have even more ways to express yourself with Office and easily share your thoughts with people that are important to you.”
Microsoft and Facebook have been partnering on a number of technologies recently. The software giant has a long standing advertising partnership that saw it invest a $240 million equity stake in Facebook back in 2007. In October Facebook announced a partnership withMicrosoft’s Bing search engine to provide social integration. Users of Bing now see social powered search results that incorporate information that their friends have liked on Facebook. Microsoft and Facebook also revealed Docs.com earlier this year. The site is built on a stripped down version of Microsoft’s Office 2010 Web Apps platform. The service can be used to share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Facebook friends.
Today’s announcements increase the integration of Microsoft Office into Facebook. Expect to see more Microsoft and Facebook partnerships over the course of 2011.