I am pleased to announce our first major upgrade to the Messenger Facebook application.

Through development of the application, we have made improvements to our controls based on our experiences implementing the Facebook application, as we have blogged about in the past.

After releasing the application in April, we broke the million user mark just 4 months later. With all of those users came a lot of feedback. One of the most frequent pieces of feedback that we received was that the Human Interactive Proof (HIP, the numbers and letters that need to be entered before a conversation can be started using the IM Control) was annoying. We have removed the HIP challenge from the flow. You can now start a conversation in Facebook without entering a HIP challenge. Another frequent piece of feedback was that users had to enter a Display Name when we already knew their name in Facebook. We have also removed that. Your display name is set to your name in Facebook. Without the HIP challenge dialog and the display name dialog, there are now ZERO dialogs in the Facebook application before you can start a conversation. No Windows Live ID auth, no HIP challenge, no entering a display name. You just click on someone's name and start typing!

In addition to improving the user's experience, we also added a feature that we are pretty excited about. It can be pretty time consuming to have to set your Facebook status as well as your Messenger personal message all of the time. You can now set your Facebook status with your Messenger personal message. To set this up, you need to select "Let Messenger Update my Facebook status message" in the Messenger application's setting page. Messenger users don't need to set their status/personal message in multiple places. They can just set it in Messenger and we will send it out to Facebook automatically.

Give the new Messenger application on Facebook a try and keep on sending feedback!

Thanks,

Chris Parker
Program Manager
Windows Live Contacts and Messenger Platform