Microsoft announces social networking collaboration

Microsoft has announced collaborations with five social networks, Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn and Tagged, that it says will make it easier, safer, and more secure for users to move their relationships around the web.

This collaboration includes an exchange of APIs that will create a "two-way street" letting users to move their contacts and relationships between services.

As part of this effort, Microsoft is introducing a new website, www.invite2messenger.net, where users can invite their contacts from any of these five social networks to join them on Windows Live Messenger.

The service is live today on Facebook and Bebo, and will become live on Hi5, LinkedIn and Tagged in the coming months.

This news comes on the back of Google's announcement that Yahoo has joined its OpenSocial initiative which is a similar project, with shared APIs, to create cross platform social applications.