Windows Live Profiles & Twitter Integration

Last year I wrote about Microsoft Windows Live getting smarter, specifically that Microsoft were gearing the new Windows Live profiles as a one stop shop for social web site aggregation. In a few quick clicks of your mouse, you could consolidate down dozens of your social networks and personal services into a single place, removing your need to visit each of them independently – fantastic!

One of the social networks that the Windows Live profiles had a web activity for was Twitter. Without any hesitation, I configured the Twitter web activity and all of my tweets were seamlessly imported into my activity stream within Windows Live. My only criticism at the time was that Twitter is a real time service, however my tweets were slow/sluggish to appear in my activity stream – sometimes taking a few hours to show up.

I was disappointed to receive an email on 30 June from the Windows Live team stating that they were no longer able to support the Twitter web activity and that they’d be disabling that functionality, until such a time as they could work with Twitter on their policy change which meant that Microsoft could no longer use the service.

Fortunately, Microsoft provide a generic web activity named “Blog RSS Feed” which will import any valid RSS or Atom XML feed into the Live profile activity steam. Of course, Twitter being the good netizen that they are, also provide an individual RSS stream for each user. Joining the dots and it means that Windows Live profiles and Twitter integration is still possible.

The downside is that because it is using a ‘generic’ web activity, how it is displayed within my activity steam isn’t as elegant and neat as it was prior – bug beggers cant be choosers.