As we mentioned last week, Windows Live Messenger is turning 10 very soon and as part of our celebration, we will be sharing, here on our blog, different stories from our users, tips/tricks and fun facts, leading up to big day, July 22nd 2009.  We’ll also have special guest posts from people that work on Messenger and from around the community.  It’s going to be a great month so stay tuned.

Today’s Fun Factoid
If Windows Live Messenger was a country, it would be the third largest country in the world (behind China and India, and before the United States) and almost 10 times the size of Canada.

Today’s Messenger user story
Thanks everyone for the stories.  We’ve gotten an overwhelming number of funny, touching and odd stories and there is still time to submit one.  If you want to share your story and let others participate in your special moment with Messenger, please send your short story in English to by June 28th.

Our first story comes from Clem from Canada.

“I had just met a really cute girl and we started exchanging IMs on Windows Live Messenger.  Even though we were on IM, I was still pretty nervous (yes, lame i know) but of course, tried to keep it cool.  Things seemed like they were going pretty well and we chatted for a little while until she said she had to go, to work on a finance homework problem that she was stuck on.  Being the helpful guy that I am, I offered to help… (limited finance knowledge, but hey, I had to try).  She sent me the problem over IM and I was in luck, a good friend of mine, Jon, was online.  He’d know the answer.  Quickly, I drafted the IM…

“Yo Jon, I’m trying hard to impress this really cute girl I just met, do you have a moment to help me figure out the answer to a finance problem so I can send it on to her.  You need to help me out, she is so hot!”

…then hit send.  It would probably take him a moment to respond, so I went back to the conversation with the girl… I read the last message and saw my message to Jon posted there… oh I guess I hadn’t switched windows, so I doubled checked… and that’s when I realized that I had posted that message to HER instead of Jon by accident.  My jaw hit the ground and stomach fell out.  I can’t really explain how embarrassed I was, and although I didn’t look in the mirror, I could feel my face heat up and I’m sure I was glowing with embarrassment like a tomato…

I didn’t know what to do… I wished you guys had built in an ‘undo’ at that point. 🙂  All I saw from her end was ‘Jen is typing’… but no message… then ‘Jen is typing’ but no words… that went on for about 4-5 minutes, then finally, she said something like “I have to go to bed, bye” and went offline.

We actually ended up becoming friends but nothing beyond that.  We never mentioned that ‘incident’, but my friends still get a good kick out of telling the story to people (yes, I have great friends) ;).  Anyways, I hope you enjoyed that and keep up the great work.”

I actually LOL’ed when I read that the first time.  Thanks for sharing Clem.  I bet many of us have done something similar. 🙂

Tip/Trick – Create your own custom emoticon
Did you know you can make your own emoticons from your own photos/images?  This has been around for a little while and is a nice way to be creative and have some fun in Messenger.  Here’s how.

Step 1 – Click on the ‘Show Menu’ button
Step 2 – Click ‘Tools’
Step 3 – Click ‘Emoticons’

Now the Emoticon window will pop up.

Step 4 – Click ‘Create’
Step 5 – Pick a photo/image to use.
*Note: it can be a bmp, jpg, png or even an animated gif.

Step 6 – Type the keys that you want to use to bring up the emoticon.  In this case I’ve picked ‘woof’ because it’s a picture of my dog. 
*Notes: You can pick any keys you’d like.  Just make sure it’s not something you type too often or it will keep appearing in your sentences. 🙂

When you are done hit OK.

  Step 7 – Now scroll down to see your ‘Custom emoticons’
Step 8 – Your emoticon now shows up and you can use it.
I open a chat with Dharmesh, since he loves dogs and I send him the emoticon just by typing ‘woof’.  Once it shows up in his conversation window, he can right click and add it to his collection.

Have fun.


Thanks for reading.

The Windows Live Messenger Team