Microsoft launches video sharing on Messenger

Microsoft will now allow for a group of Live Messenger chat participants to watch a video at the same time.

Social video sharing is nothing new, but through a messenger client it is. While users won't be able to stream their own videos yet -- likely due to bandwidth issues as well as copyright concerns -- it certainly is a start.

Currently the United States is not part of the launch, but Canada, Mexico and 18 other countries are, mainly in Europe. The videos available are culled from the company's MSN Video service.

In the United Kingdom, users also have access to videos from partners EMI and Channel 4, according to marketing material for the launch.

The reason for the overseas launch is probably a decision based on scale. Adoption rates for Microsoft's Messenger client are far higher in Europe than they are in their United States home, thus a service would see more usage and reach a broader base there.

About 95 million users, or 40 percent, of Messenger reside in Europe, Microsoft said.

Messenger TV (as it is called) sessions are started by choosing the feature from a list of activities from within the client. From there a user can create a playlist of videos from the MSN Video service.

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