Outlook Social Connectors have been announced for Outlook 2010; these will allow you to connect with social media sites directly from your email client.
The initial announcement is that a connector to business networking site LinkedIn will be announced early next year:
“Simply click on a message from a co-worker to discover what new connections they’ve made on LinkedIn, or click the LinkedIn badge underneath a photo to jump right to a person’s profile page on the Web.”
I have to say I’m surprised that Twitter isn’t in there from the start but perhaps that would seem a little gimmicky? However, don’t worry as:
“anyone can build a provider to connect the OSC to a social network, their company’s line-of-business applications, or literally any system that can produce streams of activity about its users”
That’s right! Just as numerous 3rd parties have built some excellent apps for Twitter, people will soon be able to create connectors to give us Twitter in Outlook…which will be awesome! Plus I imagine that FaceBook will be added in pretty sharpish too, for all you FB’ers out there :-) You will be able to download the SDK from MSDN tomorrow (19-11-09).
This screenshot from Microsoft (which might be a mockup?) shows what it will look like further down the line…you can see emails, Live updates, Twitter updates, documents…pretty fantastic!
I’m very excited about this and will be very interested to see what connectors people start making. If you’re a dev and you’re looking for testers – let me know ;-)
Go check out the Office blog here for more details.