Bebo is partnering with Microsoft to integrate the Redmond giant’s instant messaging protocol in the social networking site. Effective this fall, the deal will allow users to display their Windows Live Messenger status on their profile and to use an “IM Me” feature to chat on-site with friends, even those who don’t use Microsoft’s IM app. It’s the first time Microsoft has partnered to this degree with a social network on IM and contacts. The partnership also extends to contacts, letting Bebo’s friends lists talk to Windows via the Windows Live Contacts API. (Release).
Meanwhile, Buena Vista has teamed up with Bebo to promote upcoming movie Hallam Foe through Lonelygirl15 spin-off KateModern, an interactive video drama hosted on the social net. A character from the movie will feature in an episode of KateModern in the week prior to release. Universal Pictures has also struck a similar relationship with Bebo, which last week overtook MySpace for UK visits, according to comScore.