posted by Casey

Hi everyone!  My name is Casey and I’m a new Program Manager on the Windows Live™ Messenger Server team.  This is my first post on MessengerSays, and I am super excited to share with you a brand new feature called the Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control!

The Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control lets people on the Web reach you in Messenger by showing your Messenger status on your web site, blog, or social networking profile. The Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control runs in the browser and lets site visitors message you without installing Messenger first. The IM Control is supported in IE6, IE7, and Firefox 2.0 on Windows and Firefox 2.0 on Mac OS. The IM Control is supported in 32 languages.

This is a nice addition to the IM button functionality announced in Ali’s post.  An important difference between the two is that the new Windows Live™ Messenger IM Control allows people to send you IMs without installing Windows Live™ Messenger, and the IM button requires that they have it installed and are logged in.

To use the IM Control:

1. Go to Sign in with your Windows Live ID as needed.

2. Turn on your Web settings to show your presence and receive IM from the Web. Note that if you turn on Web settings, anybody on the Web who has permissions to view your web site can see your presence and send you IM messages.  Since we are dedicated to protecting children and Family Safety Settings users from receiving IM messages from users they don’t know, children and FSS users aren’t eligible to sign up for this feature.

3. Pick a way to show your presence.  I decided that I wanted to add an IM Control to my Space, so I chose Messenger.

4. Copy the HTML from the page and post it on your Web site.  Since I added the IM Control to my Space, I added a Custom HTML Module, as shown in the screen shot below.

5. When a visitor comes to your page, they can see your presence, and click on “Begin a conversation” to start sending you IM.

Testing the IM Control

1. You can test the IM Control right from the Copy HTML page:

2. Note that you cannot IM yourself from the Web (just as you can’t IM yourself in the Messenger client). To test sending a message to yourself, you can “Sign in with a different account” or “Send anonymous message.”

I decided to “Send anonymous message” to myself, and I left my name as the default, “Visitor.”  I was required to pass a HIP Challenge (one of those character recognition tests) which helps to protect IM Control users from spam messages.  Then I sent a message, and I can see that Casey (myself, logged in to the Windows Live™ Messenger PC Client) is writing a message back!

On the Windows Live™ Messenger PC Client, the IM appears as if it was sent from Visitor.

Back in the IM Control, I receive Casey’s response and I can see the timestamp from when the last message was received.


3. The IM Control lets anybody on the Web IM you. If somebody you don’t know sends you a message, you will see a warning like below in Messenger. The IM Control lets people you don’t know reach you. If you don’t want people you don’t know to send you messages, then don’t allow messages such as this one, or restrict the permission setting on your web site to allow fewer or more trusted users. If you want to always enable new users to IM you from the IM Control, then allow messages from unknown senders.

That should be all you need to get started, so go!  Generate some HTML, plant an IM Control wherever you please, and start chatting with visitors from the web!