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In a clear effort to spur premium registrations, Xbox Live to offer exclusive social media features
Microsoft updated the "social" page on the Xbox Live site over the weekend, confirming that the ability to post and update Twitter and Facebook from the Xbox will be coming this autumn. UK gamers will be getting the new features on November 19, but an exact date has yet to be confirmed for the US and other countries.
The update will enable users to interact with their favorite social networking sites in a myriad of ways. Twitter users will be able to read, reply to, and post updates alongside friends and celebrities, just as they normally would from a computer or mobile phone. Facebook integration on the Xbox will also allow users to interact with the site as they normally would. Additionally, Friend Linker will make it possible to invite Facebook friends to play over Xbox Live and to see their photos while playing with them.
Though this is not mentioned anywhere on the page linked to above, the impending upgrade will likewise introduce support for Last.fm radio streaming through the Xbox.
While many reports joke that this update is going to give gamers even less reason to leave the couch, it is perhaps, more importantly, a little something to spur users on Xbox Live Silver accounts to upgrade to the $50/year Gold account. Only Xbox Live Gold users will be able to take advantage of the new Facebook, Last.fm, and Twitter integration.
At the very least, this news highlights once again the growing significance of these social networking sites. No Internet-enabled service provider or mediator of any shape or size wants to be caught unconnected to these wildly popular networks, as if an Internet without Facebook and Twitter is really no Internet at all.
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