Microsoft announced that it will be deprecating the Application Contacts feature this year, leaving Messenger Connect customers that are relying on the functionality enough time to search for alternatives.
"Based on low usage of this feature, we have decided to remove support for application contacts in the Messenger Web Toolkit in six months. Core IM functionality will continue to be supported after this date," stated Mirosoft.
"Application contacts feature, which makes it possible for web sites to offer the ability to IM based on site-defined user relationships. Messenger users can chat with other Messenger users based on the relationships they have on web sites without becoming Messenger friends and sharing email addresses.
Via Messenger Connect, website owners can integrate the instant messaging experience of Windows Live Messenger right in their projects.
The premise was that the IM client would catalyze communications and drive loyalty. Messenger Connect Application Contacts allowed users of Windows Live Messenger to IM one another on third-party websites even though they weren't Messenger friends or had each other's contact data, including email address."