Xbox Live (trademarked as Xbox LIVE) is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft. It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002. An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at the system’s launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox One. The Xbox Live service is available as both a free and subscription-based service, known as Xbox Live Free and Xbox Live Gold respectively, with most features such as online gaming restricted to the Gold service. Prior to October 2010, the free service was known as Xbox Live Silver.
Windows Live Messenger allows users of Xbox Live, PCs (Both on the Windows and Macintosh platforms), and Windows Mobile devices to connect and directly message each other. It is possible for eight people to chat with one another at one time, while playing games, listening to music, or watching movies. This complements the existing voice and video chat of Xbox Live. Users will see at a glance if their existing contacts on Windows Live Messenger have Gamertags. As of the December 4, 2007 dashboard update, Windows Live Messenger on Xbox Live is now available to child accounts if the user is 13 years of age or older. On September 4, 2007, Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, which included a small QWERTY keypad known as the Xbox 360 Chatpad that connects directly into the Xbox 360 controller, either wired or wireless, to support text and instant messaging.
On November 19, 2009, integration with Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm was added with access available to all Xbox Live Gold subscribers. These features were initially only available to adult (18+) accounts, but Microsoft has since made the service available to users under the age of 18, subject to parental permission (use must be authorized using the parent’s account and password). Facebook features on the console are limited compared to the browser-based version, with users currently only able to update their status, comment on and “like” friends’ statuses, and view their own and friends’ pictures. There are also some features on the Xbox 360 that are not included on the main website; the Xbox Live Friend Finder allows users to see which Facebook friends use Xbox Live, while the Facebook Friend Finder allows users to see which Xbox Live friends use Facebook. The Facebook and Twitter applications on Xbox Live were removed with the new Xbox 360 Dashboard update that was released on October 16, 2012. Microsoft suggests that users now access Facebook and Twitter through Internet Explorer on Xbox 360 instead.