Two more social networks have been released for Outlook 2010. You can now add Outlook Social Connector support for Facebook and Windows Live Messenger in addition to the LinkedIn and MySpace plug-ins that were released previously.

Once you've entered your credentials for each service, you can quickly access social media feeds for the people you exchange messages with by clicking the up arrow that appears below the message preview:

Up arrow in Outlook

Then click the Add button and select any installed network.

Social Network Connections in Outlook 2010

Typically you'll send a request that the person add you to their network, and the connection will be marked as pending confirmation. Once confirmed, you'll be able to view status updates alongside recent mails and meetings that you're both in. This can really help you personalize messages to your correspondents, since you'll be able to quickly catch up on the recent milestones in their lives and careers without leaving Outlook.

When using Facebook, if you use the same e-mail address for work and your privacy is set to be publicly searchable, your status updates may appear to users of the social connector in Outlook without confirmation - even if you haven't enabled this feature on your computer. If you want Facebook to be linked only for friends, add your work e-mail to Facebook (it can be a secondary address) and make it visible to friends, then set privacy to be searchable only to friends. If you don't want your Facebook status shared, set your profile to be not searchable or hide your e-mail address.

Suzanne