Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Connecting to Social Networks

August 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows Phone 7 is probably the most social phone there is – in addition to the obvious telephony functions, the platform offers integration of Facebook, Windows Live and Google into your contacts list, which is managed via the People Hub.

This not only enables easy control over all of your contacts on each network, it also permits you to setup an email account or calendar with that particular service (for instance Google Calendar).

Setting up access to these networks is pretty simple thanks to the slick user interface of Windows Phone 7. With an Internet connection active, you should find it possible to setup a connection to your favorite social networking service in minutes!

Windows Phone 7 Tips & Tricks: Connecting to Social Networks

You Need Windows Live

If you’re planning on buying or downloading free apps, taking advantage of an online calendar and fast email and generally getting the most out of Windows Phone 7, you need to have a Windows Live account setup.

You probably already have a Hotmail, MSN or Live Mail account setup – if not, head over to www.live.com right now to set it up. This can then be added to your Windows Phone via Settings > Email & Accounts > Add an account > Windows Live.

Adding Facebook is Simple

For example, adding a Facebook account is simple. While you might prefer to use the dedicated Facebook app, the existence of People Hub integration means that you don’t have to do this, particularly if you don’t require the additional functionality that the full Facebook app delivers.

If you have a Facebook account you can add it to your Windows Phone via Settings > Email & Accounts > Add an account > Facebook. Here simply provide your usual Facebook login credentials and soon your contacts and pictures will appear on your phone!

Checking Facebook in the People Hub

You will notice that the People Hub tile on your start screen changes from time to time as different contacts update their statuses or perform other tasks on Facebook (or Windows Live) and these and many other changes can be viewed in People > What’s New. Here you can see status updates and comments from Facebook and Windows Live, as well as leave your own thoughts and comments on your friends’ activities.

Access Social Networks with the “Me” Card

In addition to checking Facebook in the People Hub, you can access social networking services via the Me card, a tile with a photo of yourself and the word “Me” sliding up and down across it.

If you’ve paired Facebook, Windows Live (and soon Twitter) to your Windows phone, you can quickly check your recent statuses in the Me card, as well as check any responses from your friends and followers. By tapping the current status you can also update with a new one, which can be sent to one or all of your connected social networks!

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