Many people use Microsoft Outlook at work for their email, calendar and to-do list. Now, with the Microsoft Social Connector, they can also use it to connect with social networking services like Facebook without drawing a lot of attention from others in the office.
To do so, first check out the Social Connector site. It explains the add-on and then helps people get started using it. You will notice that other services supported include Linked In, MySpace and Live Messenger. In this tutorial we will focus on Facebook.
Click on Get Started and then click on the Facebook icon on the next page or just click the link below.
You will have to download the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector Provider for Facebook. There are two versions (32-bit or 64-bit). Be sure to get the one that matches your version of Office. To check this, if you don’t know, click on File from an Office application like Word. Then click on Help and in the right side you will see the version under About Microsoft Word (or Excel, Outlook, etc).
Most people will use the OSFB-x86-en-us.exe for the 32-bit version, unless you know for sure you have a 64-bit version of Office (which I have, see above). If you are like me and have the 64-bit version disregard the arrows in the image below and select the top Download button.
Once you download the Facebook connector, install it by double clicking the file downloaded and follow the on-screen installation instructions. It is very simple and straightforward.
Next load Outlook and you should be prompted by the new Social Connector configuration wizard. In my experience I was not prompted. But if you are, follow these instructions from the above linked site:
- Under Social Network Accounts, select Facebook.
- For User Name: enter your Facebook email account.
- For Password: enter your Facebook password.
- Click Connect
- Once the connection is successfully completed, click Finish
If like me you are not prompted by the wizard you will have to set things up manually. To do so, go the View tab in Outlook and choose the People Pane drop down towards the right side of the ribbon.
Select Account Settings and then check Next. Now choose Facebook and enter your username and password.
Now click on the Connect button at the bottom right. Then click Finish. You will receive a Congratulations!â€ from Outlook telling you If you exchange e-mail with a member of these social networks, that person’s updates appears in Outlook.â€ Just lick Close.
Now, by default, the Outlook Social Connector is minimized at the bottom of the Outlook window’s reading pane (the window where something like an email shows up when you click the message). To make it appear all the time, click on the People Pane in the View tab (see previous screenshot) and choose the drop down box. Pick Normal to make it show up normally. Don’t do this if you prefer to leave it as single line as it is in the default settings. You may not want it to be obvious to others walking by your cubicle. To see the full Social Connector windows, click on the expansion arrow (it will be in the upper right corner) or drag the top border up.
Once you receive or send a message to someone who you are friends with on Facebook, their feed is in this window. This way you can keep up with your Facebook friends at work, without having the Facebook page loaded for all to see that you are wasting company timeâ€.
If you ever decide to unlink Facebook and Outlook, just return to the Social Connector for Facebook page and follow the uninstall directions towards the bottom of the page.