Microsoft in Facebook, Twitter tie-up

03 June 2009

REDMOND, Washington: Microsoft has announced a tie-up with Facebook and Twitter that will allow gamers to access these websites through their Xbox consoles, as part of the computing giant's broader strategy of creating "the definitive social network."

Under the terms of the agreement, Xbox users have access to an application that will enable them to update their status, post messages and browse photos on Facebook, and a similar device via which to post "tweets" and follow threads on Twitter.

Using Facebook Connect, through which members of the social network can log in to a variety of web properties with their password for the portal, Xbox owners will also be able display the results of their recent gaming activity on Facebook.

Electronic Arts, the computer game manufacturer, is already exploring utilising this feature in forthcoming titles, according to the two companies.

Microsoft has also reached a similar deal with, the online radio service, as well as enhancing its video offering in the US, and offering owners of the Xbox 360 in the UK the chance to view content shown on Sky, the satellite broadcaster.

John Schappert, corporate vice president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment division, said "we are always asking ourselves how to make the TV more social."

He similarly posited that by "bringing Facebook, and Twitter to the Xbox 360, we're not only extending the walls of your living room beyond your home to your friends in different corners of the world; we're creating the definitive social network."

The launch of the Facebook features on the Xbox is scheduled to come into effect later this year, and also forms part of the social networking pioneer's three-pronged strategy across mobile, the internet and the gaming sector.

Ethan Beard, Facebook's director of platform marketing, argued "we want people to be able to share from anywhere to anywhere."

This approach will ultimately across "all the consoles and platforms," as the company focuses on "making games more social."

Data sourced from Reuters/Cnet/Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff