This post describes an update to the Facebook provider for the Outlook Social Connector and the related policy settings that are available for Administrators.

Outlook 2010 includes a feature called the Outlook Social Connector which can show social updates for the people your users email with, directly in Outlook. Earlier this year, the Outlook team made an update to enable continued access to Facebook information as Facebook has moved to a new authentication model called OAuth. While making this change the transport has also been updated to use SSL to better secure the information transmitted between Facebook and Outlook.

Note: You do not need to enable the Outlook Social Connector to display GAL Photos in Outlook 2010. For more details, see GAL Photos in Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010.

Starting on May 1st, 2012, users will see notifications in Outlook to update the Facebook provider for the Outlook Social Connector. If users have a previous version of the Facebook provider installed, the notification will lead the user to the updated version of the Facebook provider on Microsoft Download Center.


Figure 1: Outlook users with the OSC enabled and the Facebook provider installed will see notifications to update the provider

Current users of the Facebook provider must install the updated Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider for Facebook to avoid errors connecting to Facebook.

Users who don't have the Facebook provider installed but do have the Outlook Social Connector enabled will see a one-time notification that a new social network provider is available.


Figure 2: Outlook users with the OSC enabled will see a one-time notification indicating a new social network provider is available

You can use Group Policy settings to control your user’s experience. For example, you can:

  • block the notifications in the People Pane
  • block a specific social network provider
  • turn off the Outlook Social Connector entirely

Figure 3: You can use Group Policy to control Outlook Social Connector settings

To learn more about the available Group Policy settings, see KB 2020103: How to manage the Outlook Social Connector by using Group Policy.

Note: The Outlook Social Connector is also available as a separate download for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003. The same notifications and policy settings apply to OSC for Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003.

The OSC team worked to help protect users' privacy. More details about how data is protected in Learn more about Outlook Social Connector and privacy.

The Outlook team also is blogging about this update. You can read their blog here.

Adam Glick