Microsoft has unveiled Messenger TV, a service allowing users of Windows Live Messenger to watch and share video content on MSN Video while chatting to friends and family.
The software giant has announced partnerships with Channel 4 and EMI to provide content on MSN Video, including clips of popular Channel 4 shows and music videos from EMI frontline labels.
"Up to now online video has been something that people have tended to watch alone, but Messenger TV changes all that," said Peter Bale, executive producer at MSN UK.
"With this innovation we are creating a truly social experience, integrating the connected online community with the more traditional shared experience of viewing TV, allowing our users to share videos with friends."
Messenger TV is automatically available to IM users under the activities tab in a normal chat window.
"Watching video is now the third most popular online activity behind search and shopping," said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of market watcher comScore.
"In the past year the emergence of online videos has exploded throughout Europe. In the UK alone, over 87 per cent of the online population accounted for nearly 10 billion minutes."
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