Windows 8 People app: Easy social networking

aNewDomain.net — The new People app in Windows 8 is like the old Windows Address Book on super-concentrated steroids. It doubles as a very useable address book as well as a social networking app. The People app comes pre-installed with Windows 8. When opened it lists all your contacts.

People App

All images credit: Sandy Berger

As long as you are signed in with your Microsoft account other apps like Mail can use your contact list automatically and you can also use it to link to your social networking accounts.

Add Accounts

To add an account, just tap or click the Search icon in the People app to search for accounts. Then add your Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Hotmail, and/or Outlook accounts. Once you give permission for the linkage, all of your contacts from the chosen email or social media accounts will automatically appear in the People app.

Interactions

The beauty of this app is how good it makes the posts look and how easy it is to view and interact with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. There are several methods of how to interact with these groups in the app, but I find that using the “What’s New” icon on the front page is the easiest.

People What's New

Just click on “What’s new” and you can choose to view all the posts or just the posts from individual media services. As you can see, the post are displayed in a very readable format and you can quickly scroll through. If you are a Facebook user, you will find the interface especially nice. The interfaces for Twitter and LinkedIn are not quite as polished, but all are very useable. Although the People app syncs nicely with several other social websites, it doesn’t work with Google+ or Pinterest.

When you open your own contact card by clicking on your picture, you can update your Facebook status and post or reply to Tweets. It’s an easy and useful way to keep in touch.

Working with the People app

On the “What’s new” page you can also see the accounts that are linked to the People app in the upper right corner of the screen.  You can unlink any of the accounts at any time.

In the options menu you may choose to hide or display contacts from your various social media sites. So if you happen to have thousands of Twitter followers, you can hide them if you like. Another handy feature is you can also sort contacts by first or last name and choose to see only those contacts who are online. The app even lets you pin any person you communicate with often to your Start screen.

The People app automatically displays real-time pictures and updates so it is always current. Although it doesn’t cover all the social networking sites, if you use LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook as your major social media services, the People app can be much more than just an address book. It can be a shareable, up-to-the-minute central communications hub.

Sandy Berger
Sandy Burger, based in Pinehurst, N.C., is a veteran tech journalist and regular contributor to Tech Page One. As senior editor at aNewDomain.net, Sandy covers tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at [email protected]
Sandy Berger
Sandy Berger
Tags: Software,Technology