Sharing is caring – How the Social Extensibility framework for Windows Phone 8.1 will make things better

Windows Phone 8.1 has a lot going on under the hood, from unified app stores with Windows 8.1 to new tools for developers. One of those tools is dubbed the ‘Social Extensibility Framework’ and while an odd term, it will have vast consequences for Windows Phone users going forward.

In case you’re wondering, this is the ‘What happened to Facebook in Windows Phone 8.1?’ discussion. While some of you have lamented the changes, no doubt due in part to habit, in the long run this improved architecture alteration will give companies a more consistent and unified approach to Windows Phone.

What is the Social Extensibility framework?

The Social Extensibility framework, or what I’ll refer to just as SEF going forward, is a new set of “exposed…social extension APIs” from Microsoft. It’s a gift to developers, and it will allow apps to hook into the OS directly.

Previously, Windows Phone had some privileged services like Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype and Facebook, which were allowed to connect deeply into the OS. Users could post once across networks, see updates in their Me Tile and have an integrated experience like no other mobile OS. Indeed, Microsoft rightly bragged about this function as having Twitter and Facebook profile information ‘linked’ to your contacts directly was new.

The problem was that those networks changed, and they changed often.

As a result, things would break, services wouldn’t connect, and new features weren’t adopted in a timely manner. Microsoft would have to update the entire OS to add or fix those services, and in the mobile game, that’s just not time Microsoft had to spare (and when something broke the outrage from users was evident).The SEF is Microsoft’s answer as it’s a set of tools that will allow companies like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more to tie into the OS. What’s more, it will be open to other social network companies, ensuring there are no longer privileged apps on the system. Facebook’s integration will look like Twitter’s, etc. That means the user-experience should also be consistent.

Social Extensibility framework People Hub

Old versus New People Hub in 8.1

What SEF can do

Last week, the beta build of the new Twitter app for Windows Phone 8.1 was leaked. We predicted at the time that the app would be pulled, and sure enough hours later it was. But the real news was seeing just how deep the app could plug into the OS.

Here are a few features that the SEF can do:

  • Sign in once, signs in everywhere
  • Richer People Hub experience
  • ‘Connect’ feature in a contact’s listing
  • Photos Hub integration
  • New Share experience

Let’s look at those individually to explain better what they mean to you in your everyday usage.

  • Sign in once – On Windows Phone 8, you could sign in under Settings > email + accounts and link your account to the OS for Twitter and Facebook. You also could then install an app because the experience wasn’t complete. That was confusing and odd. Now, when you sign into the app, it will plug into the OS directly. Sure, Facebook is still there under email + accounts, but tapping it only sends you off to the official app.
  • People Hub/What’s New – Twitter images that are embedded in the What’s New stream are now more than just thumbnails; instead, they are full sized photos. Tapping someone’s tweet will take you directly to that message in the official Twitter app. From there, you can get the full suite of Twitter tools instead of just ‘post’ or ‘reTweet’. Likewise, tapping someone’s Facebook post will open the app, giving you a non-crippled experience since you have access to Like, comments and more directly.
  • Connect – Connect is new in 8.1, and it is found under a contact’s listing in your People Hub. Twitter and Facebook social accounts look like Tiles and tapping them will take you directly to that person’s Twitter page or Facebook wall. Basically, Connect is a one-stop area where you can see what networks your contact is on, allowing you to interact with them directly.
  • Share – Sharing has been overhauled in 8.1 and developers can now have their service’s icon under Share with a finer-grained experience.
  • Photos Hub library – Social apps can now have their photo libraries embedded in the Photos Hub. That means you can now share a picture you posted on Twitter in your email, text message, WhatsApp, etc. That’s quite powerful as it links up all your social network photo repositories up through the OS, allowing you to post photos from Facebook to LinkedIn to whatever. It’s universal.

Of course, the biggest boon to this new architecture is that services can now be updated much more frequently, since it is the app – and not the OS – that is doing all the heavy lifting. Think of these APIs as universal keys that can plug into Windows Phone 8.1. They stay the same, but the OS and apps can change around them. That means if a new feature comes to Facebook or Twitter, a simple app update can introduce that feature right away.

Social Extensibility framework Connect

Which apps?

The lingering question is, which apps will take advantage of it? For now, it looks like the Social Extensibility framework will be limited to official services from companies who work with Microsoft. Facebook, Twitter, Skype and LinkedIn are obvious choices. Instagram, Foursquare, WhatsApp, VK and others are certainly likely. Those companies though will need to be in talks with Microsoft to get those APIs and build their apps. Clearly Twitter already is, as last week’s beta leak confirmed.

The potential though is huge. There’s a good chance the Instagram app will get this, meaning you can see someone’s Instagram account in their contact listing, or see your Instagram stream under the ‘What’s New’ section (users can enable/disable services as a filter already). It would also mean you can easily access your entire Instagram library for instant sharing to Skype, email or your favorite messenger service.

Giving up one thing, getting much more in return

Although we have lost Facebook Messaging integration with 8.1, it should be obvious that what we’re getting in return is in many ways more powerful. There’s no doubt that a built in, native experience would be preferred, but let’s face it: it just didn’t pan out. Even if Microsoft could dynamically update the OS, the risks in screwing up the software piping would still be high (and imagine getting an OS update just to fix something you never use).

The new Social Extensibility framework is a compromise. Instead of full, deep OS integration that only a few services could use, now any major social network can tie into the OS, giving users a richer user experience. Of course, it all depends on if those companies adapt their apps to 8.1 to leverage this, which is something we’ll have to see in the coming months. But I’m pretty excited about the potential here, as I think you should be too.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • The function and APIs which are enabled to ALL developers are great. First comment!
  • We still can't post to multiple sites!!! It's just like on android :(
    Anf I hate the fact that when I post something like an article with a link on facebook, only the link title, no summary....too bad.
  • +1020 bro
  • I really wish that was improved. A preview of what the link is all about, is how it should be at least on Facebook. The other do-able thing is - an app that should be able to link all these apps into one and have one buton share. We NEED it. We didn't just lose Facebook integrated messaging in WP8.1, we lost the ability to re-do #smokedbyWindowsPhone. I am wondering why iPhone hasn't yet picked on this and come back with #smokedYourWindowsPhone campaign of their own to show how we cannot share to multiple social networks anymore.
  • Exactly.  iOS and Android can now do ALL of this at LEAST as fast as Windows Phone 8.1, but likely much faster.  I dare someone to prove me wrong.
  • This is why I'm crossing my fingers and wishing we get an official Facebook app. Not this ridiculous Microsoft Facebook app.
  • +slap
  • ^This...
  • So, what holds facebook then?
  • Yup, I mean, really, a "Connect" tab with giant links to a contact's social profiles? Wow, groundbreaking. You know what would be neat? If, like, you could see photos of that person, from their social networks, right there! .... Oh, wait, we had that before. Nevermind. I suppose I get why they did this but they clearly did not have nearly time to it right, at all. As usual it's, "Hold on for a year while we re-do everything we already did, and then it will be great!" I feel like we've been here before, huh... Also, as far as the integration breaking all the time, I don't remember that. Microsoft had to fix Twitter integration once in awhile. It would be down for a day, like, five times a year, big deal. And the social networks updating all the time? I don't see how this fixes that. The Facebook integration doesn't appear that it will ever be able to do more with this API than the native integration did, sooo..... Oh, also, of course news today says that Google just combined SMS and Hangouts chat into one :)
  • I really miss the ability to see Photos and other Media directly in the People Hub.
  • Yeah I stopped posting links altogether now. That drives me bonkers!
  • Plus 925 Million.
  • This. This is all I cared about!
  • +1020 - whilst there are some excellent advances in these new apps the inability to be able to post to multiple networks at once is a real shame; as is the ability to very easily like, comment, reply to tweet etc without opening an app - which not only takes longer but also seems to need more network - in locations with poor coverage I could often see activity via Me hub that I never could through the apps. Also whilst on the me hub I really miss the historic list of notifications.  Nw notification centre is superb but once its gone its gone now - plus old notifications could very easily be refreshed
  • Hate that it feels like we are starting all over with the integration but the future seems promising.
  • Yeah, I almost wish I used social networks!
  • Related: On desktop, right-click file(s) in a folder > Send To > Skype > Select contact(s) and press OK. It will send to the entire selection instatly; without needing you to drag-drop them or using file picker. On Phone, tap a picture or file > Share > oh crap! there is no Skype in the list.. Till date, third-party apps are doing much better than Skype on WP. Viber, WhatsApp, WeChat, Nimbuzz, Zalo and hundreds of other apps offer file sharing. Delaying these basic features is pointless and nonsense tbvh.
  • But the shring menu is different for apps. all apps are appearing while sharing a pic from Photos App. Same thing is not happening while shaing a pic from facebook.
  • Waka
  • Waka waka waka
  • Waka Flocka
  • Waka Flocka Flave
  • Its waka flocka flame bro..
  • Baracka Obama Flame! lol
  • Yoga Fire!
  • Bam pao craw poh
  • Boom boom pow :P sounds better
  • Hakuna matata
  • Sum Ting Wong!
  • ***ba din thus* *:D
  • Chinta ta ta chita chita...
  • Gooney Goo-goo
  • cool news to hear on..Windows PHone..Keep oon going..#Winphan
  • Don't like it oh well shit happens
  • Well i liked the me integration it should be appear in sucj a way that all 3rd party should allow notificatiins to show in me tile
  • I would still like to wait before getting excited. Integrated fb chat was my most used thing and facebook app never played good for me... fb messenger is decent enough though. The idea of universal sign-in option is a great approach.
  • We need to get better apps though specially FB, twitter isn't that bad
  • That is really great. OS integrations are always good. Looking forward to use this feature with as much companies.
  • I'm very excited about the possibilities that this would enabled, hope to see WhatsApp and instagram integrated
  • Speaking of WhatsApp, any news on when will we get the update for backgrounds(graphics) support?
  • So here's how this works: if we have news, we report it. If we have no news, then we don't report it ;) We don't hold back info on those things like 'oh yeah, it comes on Wednesday at 12:15pm, I didn't mention that?' lol
  • Official: A huge WhatsApp update coming on Wednesday at 12:15pm!
  • I see what you did there...
  • LOL! Thanks for the reply Dan, I guess my patience was getting overshadowed by my excitement  for the update :)
  • Back on subject.... Is WP8.1's SEF how iDroid does it? Is this a feature exclusive to WP?
  • AFAIK, iOS and Android don't have these types of dev tools. Will look into it.
  • If its WP exclusive, then it's definitely a even bigger step by Microsoft, in right direction!
  • Maybe calling it SEF is WP exclusive and droid does it in a clunkier way and iOS calls it iApps or something. We can't be the only one who can't share to multiple networks right? Riiiiiight?
  • While we are on topic, why have you not reported when does Facebook and Skype update for Blue apps go live? I am sure you know plenty about this, if not, shouldn't you be feeding our curiosities? ;)
  • I honestly have no idea. Belfiore said they are coming soon. I did say 5/31 was the kickoff date for 8.1, so it makes sense that when 8.1 goes online for reals (not a 'preview'), we'll see a bunch of 8.1 apps come online too.
  • That's an uber long wait to be honest but then lets just hope it doesn't become 31st July or August instead. #GoodThingsHappenToGoodPeople
  • arent' you glad there's preview :P
  • Nah, it feels so incomplete to use preview without all these apps taking advantage of it. Right now I feel like I am using an Android phone with a laucher theme of Windows Phone 8. App notifications are buggy looking (whereas they aren't) and notification centre feel crappy because nothing is there (since apps aren't updated) etc etc.
  • Really? Notification Center works perfect for me on Twitter (beta), Metro Talk, Today's Word, WPCentral, Email, WhatsApp, Fitbit Tracker, Facebook etc. Love how I can tell it 'no banners, no sound, but show up in Notification Center'. Haven't missed a one yet. Regardless, it's a Dev Preview. Microsoft doesn't owe us having 8.1 apps ready out the gate for it.
  • Facebook? That defo doesn't work on mine. Whatsapp, Messenger and WPCentral are three realiable ones. Twitter again doesn't work. So that sort of removes 2 key social networks. I know MSFT doesn't owe us any apps, but it would be a really good experience overall if these apps were there for people to see what WP8.1 is all about when they buy new Lumia 930 instead of returning them in "7 days return policy" window.
  • I don't get all facebook notifications in action center so I still have to go to app to check notifications....i does show in facebook tile but not always in action center. So now we wonder what good is facebook from peoples hub? What can we do and what can't we do ? Does the majority of Wp like it or just the minorities? 2 years ago Microsoft said the had the right idea for WP peoples hub. Now 2014 ....they say they now have the right idea for WP peoples hub....we'll be seeing something different in 2 more years
  • Instagram and skype doesnt show up in notification center..
  • That's because the current App versions don't yet support Action Centre. Does anyone know if Facebook Beta is WP8.1 compatible yet as it wasnt when the preview was released.
  • I agree Daniel. I have not had any issue with notification center at all. The only thing I wish that I could control, would be to see a little bit more of the notification to make a determination if I want to click on it. So many of the notifications (especially FB and Twitter Beta) get truncated before being able to tell if they are worth opening.
  • Agreed, it is almost useless as is.  'Oh I got a notification that I have no idea if I want to take to the time to lauch the buggy app, go to it, then go back to the main menu to see the other notifications that I couldn't read.'
    This is a very very crappy experience compared to what we had in the Me tile.  
  • The first thing that they need to fix is uploading the photos while on the background. But these new improvements are def good!
  • Agreed. And video. It's been hit our miss with video upload for me, but mostly miss.
  • A modular OS!
  • we already have that! it's called Android !  
  • No, that's fragmented.
  • I'd love it of they could open this up, I'm working on an app that would be great in this context
  • I hope that Rudy Huyn will integrate this to 6snap, 6tag. That could really be a great time saver.
  • That would be great!
  • If this is really available to third parties I'd love to see 6tag tap into this
  • Whatever. I don't like it.
  • Agreed.
  • Seriously feel that the users lost here and the developers at MS won. I'm a dev myself and can see the reasoning, but I still feel I lost because it was just so damn nice to be able to post to several networks at once.....
  • I absolutely agree.  I can count on one hand the number of times I DIDN'T post to multiple networks simultaneously.  Now I have to copy and paste and post and post and post and.......BAH!!!  If Microsoft is going to keep its head in the up-and-locked position about this, then I pray a developer comes up with an app that REPLACES the functionality that we use to have with the Me tile.  I'll pay big bucks to get that back.  Right now, the ONLY thing I can use as a reason to recommend my friends get a Windows Phone for is Cortana.  I hate most of the other features added in 8.1, and I wouldn't mention them in my recommendations.
  • I don't really understand why they got rid of that particular functionality. It should still be possible, just that each service would be queued up and auto-close themselves when the share action was completed like a promise.
  • I think that the Facebook messenger should utilize the same API and be integrated to the messaging hub... Oh wait! Microsoft has no plans for that. Wtf?? Why you do this Microsoft??
  • Last time I checked Facebook messenger is made by FACEBOOK so why is Microsoft fault?
  • Really?? I hope you know that the new Facebook app being made by FACEBOOK itself, is going to be integrated into the OS. And also, it's Microsoft's fault as they should have allowed integration into not only the people hub but also the messaging hub. Get it??
  • Are you sure it was Microsoft's fault that they disagreed from allowing facebook messenger app by facebook to be integrated into the messaging hub? Because I heard somewhere facebook forcibly removed the integrated chat...
  • Really? That's weird. I mean allowing the app as a whole to be integrated, but not the messenger. Pfft! But come to think about it very deeply, it's not integration in the said sense, but only linking up or ' hooking up' if you will.
  • I'm not sure about the news I said above, but integrating / linking up (you say) the app as a whole would kill the sole reason of having an "official app". It'll be more like an OS feature. That definietly would be something that everyone would like to taste once! but that won't be possible anytime soon.
  • I guess you are right. Linking up everything would not be the best idea. I'm just being too optimistic.
  • How much do you know about app developement and WP kernel? It seems like there is a misconnect here.
  • Tbh, not a clue. I'm not a developer. Just a regular WP fanboy. Why is there a misconnection?
  • a) whole app can't be integrated into messaging hub b) if its integrated, then every time Facebook changes something on their end, it will mean Microsoft push out OS update to fix it. c) if its integrated, then every time Facebook wants to add new things it can actually make money out of i.e. ads, stickers etc - it will need to tell Microsoft about this and then Microsoft will have to think if they want to update the OS or not.   However, in current "hooking up" scenario, Facebook can do whatever the heck they want, if they want to integrate things in Photos hub, they can. If they want to integrated contacts to People hub, they can. If they want to let  you do quick status updates and use emotions, they can. If they want to show you the finger and not do any of this, they can. Microsoft can build their OS instead of fixing Facebook Messenger everytime someone at Facebook has diarrhoea.
  • I said the same thing to @Gautam, above, about the hooking up scenario. I don't think someone needs to be a developer to understand that. So, my point is that at least Microsoft should have opted for the hook up scenario to the messaging hub, don't you think?
  • Daniel explained it below somewhere, messaging hub should be in pipeline in one of the GDRs or threshold *if* the developer response to these extra APIs is good. As you may have noticed developers are more often than not, lukewarm at best when it comes to doing anything nice with WP. So it sort of makes sense (if it was too laborous to implement) that messaging hub is not currently integrated.
  • +520
  • But it ISN'T real integration.  It's merely a lame example of app folders.  That's it. No integration.
  • Realistically, I can't imagine a technical reason why (at least most of) the previous functionality couldn't have been maintained while also expanding SEF. Doing away with the notifications on the Me tile is fine (though I did like being able to go back to those notifications), but basic messaging is not one of those things that will change. Moreover, even if it does change, that shouldn't matter because the API would expose - to the app - the functionality required to add messages, etc. There is a downside to each app being responsible for these basic services - all those apps must run separately to provide updates.
  • The one thing I think you're missing about all this is that in the FB messenger, which is being seperated from the FB app on all other OS's, also tries to sell stuff on it. So the likelihood of it being 'integrated' are slim, unless it can be done while still trying to convince people to pay them for "stickers".
  • Are stickers available for purchase on wp version?
  • Not sure. But with a "sticker store" button don't you think that at some point they will be?
  • How would you know that they have no plans to do the same thing with the messaging hub?
  • is that why Facebook message doesn't work under certain situation, because Facebook's messenger API was changed? I mean if that's the reason then you can't really blame MS for removing FB message from messenger hub since it won't work half of the time.
  • Everything sounds good, and I think is a step in the right direction
  • if it was something that every developer could access and it was something not limited to just social networking, it would be much more awesome.
  • Thank God that insanely stupidly big people title has been altered.
  • This made the ME tab useless. I loved the old way.
  • Me Tile is still useful for checkins and posting to your social network of choice. The real degradation was not due to this change, but the Notification Hub. It was the old Notifications section that was removed from the Me Tile.
  • The ability the post across networks was my main use of the ME tile for me. For the first time since Windows phone was released, I no longer have the ME tile on my home screen. :(
  • Sorry if it'a dumb question but I have also been curious about this since I love the way the Me tile was functioning before. I have not tried the 8.1 Dev Preview yet but from my understanding is that the Me tile is useless now or will there be some of this new social-extensibility added back once we have updated WP 8.1 social apps? Can you no longer do a quick Check In or Status Update in the Me Tile anymore in 8.1?   Thanks.
  • in 8.1, instead of posting across networks, you can either (a) have it ask you which network you want to post to or checkin each time or (b) pick a default app to always use. Since it now launched the chosen app's posting window, there's no way to post to multiple networks. The tradeoff? You actually get a full set of posting tools, instead of the barren, stripped down version in 8.0. So a more complete experience vs. multiple posting.
  • I'm sure this is better
  • No, it is not.
  • Maybe if it was only an option would work better for all people yes, but still better for updates
  • No, it is not.
  • You're not the one who has to recode the backend everytime facebook and twitter change their system.
  • Ok sounds good. Thanks for the explanation Daniel. Guess I'll get to check it out if I ever get around to trying out the 8.1 Developer bits or maybe I'll just wait for the AT&T deployment. Thanks :)
  • Daniel I understand your position however they could have improved upon the way the ME Tile functioned. Why remove the possibility of posting to multiple networks. Give us the user that option to still post the old way or if one would like the new way. Gutting that functionality was poor judgment on Microsoft's part.
  • Yep, the ME tile is dead now. I unpinned it. If I have to post to one at a time, I'll just open the appropriate app. Its like iOS or Android now - and not in a good way.
  • I love where this is heading. The only thing that I dislike is the inability to share embedded links like with the old built-in Facebook :(
  • I really liked being able to respond to Facebook messages with my voice while driving. I was looking forward to 8.1 having a similar capability with Skype messaging and others. I get the strategy, though.
  • Yes that was nice. I am hoping they could somehow integrate the voice control into all apps that take advantage of this new architecture. But it looks unlikely. I don't understand why almost no apps allow you to use speech to text either. Like whatsapp would be perfect for speech to text, like on IOS.
  • i don't understand why they are not putting an API in SEF to allow apps to integrate in messaging HUB like they are doing for people and photo hub...
  • I mean, baby steps? Let's see how this plays out and they may expand things. Remember, this is a '0.1' OS release. There's at least three GDR updates and 'Threshold' next spring. There's lots of room for improvement and new features, but just look how much as already come in 8.1. They can't do everything...
  • I agree that we should wait to see how this pans out, but come on Daniel... Don't tell people to ignore the .1 when people say that Microsoft isn't updating much by only going from 8.0 to 8.1 in version numbers, but then tell them that "oh, this is only a .1 update, don't expect a lot".
  • Let me tell you something: the original plans for Blue were just the unified app store. MS had so much work to do on making that happen, that forward facing consumer features were barely on the table. The fact we got this much is actually remarkable.
  • +929
  • Remarkable but neccessary. Their development got caught too far behind thier strategy. They had been spending so much time on backend improvements since Mango that the dominant theme of WP chatter became "why are they so slow to update". At that point, you either put customer-facing updates out there or your platform dies. I think 8.1 is great.
  • But instead of allowing Photo Hub integration wouldn't it be wise to do messaging hub and people hub integration first? I mean, we are talking about being the best in communication, right? Photo hub integration could have waited till GDR2. But knowing how popular Whatsapp and Facebook are and the fact that there is NO iMessenger or Hangout equivalent on the OS (despite owning Skype for 3 yrs now!) this could have been the first choice even if they asked me or OhGood! ;)
  • There is People Hub integration. Regarding Messaging, I'm not sure what their plans are, if they are going to do that. It just seems like you can haven't it both ways: bring down messages, with ability to respond without launching the app. That's not how it's done 8.1. There are deep links and app launching.
  • Lol, its like I shuddered when I read that. Windows Phone has spent years teaching us: this is so much better because you don't have to launch the app! Now, out of the "blue" sky its like, oh yea that stuff is all gone but it's so much better because we launch the app for you!
  • +620
  • I think maybe we have different ideas of what integration is, at least in this context.  I don't call what's been done to WP8.1 integration.
  • Well, baby backward step ? we had messaging hub and they are removing it just when Google is intagrating Hangout with text... They can't do everything, they just need to remove every improvments thats came with the last update in the next one.
  • Messaging hub was cool and everything in 2012. But 2 years down the line, with no update or increase in features, don't you think it is good that it died, the way it did? Would you REALLY want to have an OS update just so that they add stickers to your hub? or background image to the hub?
  • Oh, I dunno, gee, maybe instead of killing the integration because a lot of it required a core update, how about improving the integration in such a way that the core OS didn't require an update?  Instead, all they've done is give us glorified app folders the simply point you to a separate app.  So, no, I don't really agree.
  • Yeah u r right Daniel it sounds great for the growth of windows phone
  • This is such a great article. Thank you for detailing so much about it!
  • Why can't we have the best of both worlds? Surely the ability to post to multiple social networks is still possible while still enabling SEF???
  • Like all things in software development, this is probably a 1.0 release. There has never been an app or service in the world released that was feature complete going out. Think of the OS architectural changes required plus the API writing to get this much done, making the OS more modular. It's kind of crazy.
  • I know but it's like, could there be a nice span where we don't need to lose features, readapt, and wait for things to be re-done again? Just for that vision to be thrown out again, and we wait for things to be redone later? I am a huge WP fan, but, this has really got my head spinning.
  • Honestly I think it's hidden behind registry setting. MS is not known to completely remove large chunks of code like this.
  • It's now similar to Windows 8, and it had an app called Fliptoast that did just that.  So i would expect at some point 3rd parties getting in on the action. (Unless we continue to see 1st parties lock out 3rd parties from their API's)
  • Not sure if anybody else had the problem, but twitter beta when it integrated to the people hub, if i try to click a link from a tweet, it couldnt.  It would just open up the screen to reply to the message.  There wasn't a way for me to click a link, anywhere you click whether the arrow or on the tweet or even the link, opens up the reply screen.  So i couldnt open a link through the people hub.    Ended up uninstalling the app and putting it back on the normal twitter integration through the emails/accounts.  Works better. 
  • It does make sense, but still sucks. I actually like the fb chat in messaging. And I like having quick access to comment or post. Sucks sometimes having to wait for the fb app to load. I'm not even sure its worth having the people hub and me tile pinned up. You don't get any notifications on the me tile and pretty much everything in the people hub you can do in the fb app. Well, lets hope the fb app gets better a lot faster now. It makes sense, but still sucks. Its one of the things that made WP different than the other two mobile oses.
  • I've unpinned the me tile, it's 100% useless at this point.
  • I think the Me Tile is mostly useless because everyone wanted a Notification center, which now makes the Notifications in the Me Tile redundant. That's what really killed that off, imo.
  • Yeah I unpinned the Me Tile after I updated, it's pretty useless now. But the Notification Centre is more useful than if was so it's a decent tradeoff imo.
  • Meanwhile, I hate everything about the notification center and I flat refuse to use it.  I feel the same way about the disintegration of the volume controls, but because the volume buttons are now, for all practical purposes BROKEN, I have no choice but to fight with THAT piece of junk.
  • The idea of not need to open apps was one of my main points when I bought my first WP7 and then my WP7 wife's. Now that ability is gone You get notifications in Action Center but sometimes you can't answer and just dismiss it. With Me tile you could see them later As @Aren says, FB app is not that faster to load
  • The problem for me is that they really aren't redundant. I didn't see any of the notifications yesterday from people on Facebook wishing me a happy birthday. Didn't see them until I opened Facebook on a whim just before midnight. I was pretty bummed. There was literally no reason to remove the notifications from the Me Tile especially since it was designated for social notifications. I still haven't seen one Facebook notification yet in the Action Center, our Twitter for that matter. Now my Me Tile does nothing but cycle over my profile picture. I rarely post, so it was only ever good for the notifications.
  • "There was literally no reason to remove the notifications from the Me Tile especially since it was designated for social notifications."
    Sure there was, redundancy. How do you explain to someone that you have two areas for Notifications, but they behave differently. That's bad OS design, not a benefit. Re: Notifications, do you have banner notifications enabled in the app? And have you gone into the Notification Center to configure it? Because I get all my FB notifis as well as for Twitter (8.1 beta, which I hope you're using, because if not , then this point is moot).
  • Facebook (the latest official app) doesn't appear in my notification+action center settings and I can't find a way to make it show up. I have all the necessary settings enabled in the app itself, it just didn't work. On Twitter, I was not so lucky as to get the beta build before it was removed, but I thought the one we have now would work since most other apps do. Guess I was wrong. Either way, both of those accounts are linked to my phone in account settings, so I should still get the notifications, right? It just doesn't make sense. As for redundancy, I understand what you're saying, but isn't the point of live tiles to give you information at a glance? I used to see notifications about who posted to my wall and who liked my statuses straight from the tile, but now it does nothing. I see no reason for them to have removed that functionality. It almost seems like Microsoft deliberately killed a lot of live tile functionality in 8.1.
  • Why couldn't the ME tile compliment the notification centre. Why not have the swiping down from the top of the screen open up ME Tile. Microsoft needs to learn to improve upon ors innovations rather than kill them off. I said months ago the ME tile is a notification centre and that it just simply needed to be expanded.
  • Great article Dan. I was apprehensive due to losing those features mentioned. I guess one way to see it is that currently this is the worse it could possible get so hopefully there is a huge uptick moving forward
  • The second to last sentence is the reason I cannot get behind this. Dropping controlled deep integration for uncontrolled framework integration will not work if companies like Twitter & Vine (assuming Vine leverages the SEF) update their apps much later than the other OSs & companies like Instagram & LinkedIn hardly update at all. We've gone from a solid, reliable, easy and fast experience (#SmokedByWindowsPhone) to a disjointed & slow app based experience topped with finger crossing that apps get updates in time. This does not excite me at all and actually worries me quite a bit.
  • LinkedIn on wp8 is pathetic and so is Groupon. They are so much more functional on iOS and Android. Both these companies should be banned for providing a terrible experience on windowsphone OS. I'm sure there are many more apps that needs updating.
  • An alternative analysis is opening up your APIs and frameworks makes companies want to develop on your platform. Privileging some services over others may make them gun shy. Think of the unified app store, the new API changes, the new billing methods, shared code, etc. and devs have a lot to be excited about when developing on Win 8/WP. Sure, it remains to be seen if good comes of it, but I'm not sure closing things down and excluding companies was the way to go either. I mean, it's obvious it hasn't worked so far, so why not change things?
  • WRONG! The opportunity to make lots of M0NEY is what makes people want to develop on your platform. M0ney comes from market share. Market share WAS growing because WP offered something better and different, and people were catching on. It's not better and different now. So market share growth will slow and start shrinking. Nobody bought a windowsphone because it was the SAME as android and iphone, they bought them cus they were different, faster, more integrated, beautiful and visually, the first interface that was actually designed FOR a tiny phone screen, as opposed to iphone and android which are just shrunken-down versions of their PC desktop interface designs. Hubs, live tiles, and the iniversal visual beauty and consistency of metro were the reasons to switch to WP. This update has killed the hubs, made metro an uninteligible design MESS, and, by enabling clear tiles, spawned a whole slough of apps that kill live tiles in order to let people see their wallpaper, which will kill everything that made Start a cohesive brand, even while it allowed so much choice and customization. Now "Start" loses its entire brand identity and becomes unrecognizable if people want: Will people start developing for WP if the market share stops increasing and starts decreasing? Aboslutely not. And WP is visually and intuitively destroyed, so kiss that growth goodbye.      
  • good point. this entire article works under the premises these companies will take the extra time to integrate with WP. I doubt it unless MSFT can bring in some huge marketshare numbers. However as you said, the experience sucks. Everytime I get tossed into some app I now constantly hit back beause I don't want to wait 5 seconds for the stupid app to load. It's like back to android.....  
  • My sentiments exactly. Microsoft is being very naive here. This is going to end in tears
  • I know. It blows. my. mind. but I am quickly losing my excitement about this platform (I'm the guy who bought in on Day One). I actually cannot now tell someone why they should chose Windows Phone over iOS. Sure, before we didn't have the apps, but we had an amazing, smooth, fast, beautiful experience. Now, still don't have the apps, but the experience... like, a less-ugly, more-reliable, simpler Android. The other day my friend told me to check out particular podcast Stitcher had recommended. I rolled my eyes because a) I didn't know what the heck Stitcher is, and b) because she thinks I must since the whole world uses iPhones. Okay, I will! I told her, knowing all the while that I would just pull up Music + Video, search for the podcast in the Store, and hit subscribe. Uhh, but no. Store doesn't search podcasts anymore, so I pull up the Podcast app, roll my eyes at the splash screen, and find, y'know, a barren shell. "Search Bing" for podcasts, it suggests. Which I do there, and which pulls up nothing for this new, but popular podcast. So, what do I do? I go looking for another podcast app! Which I download and try to use to find this show. And you know what I thought when I was doing it? "I wish I could download that Stitcher app..." And that sounds like a path to end up owning an iPhone. SCARY.
  • Same here. Windowsphone is no longer windowsphone.  They just abandoned everything that made WP better in order to be more like the phones that are already kicking their butts. Made an appt at Microsoft store to flash my phone & get WP 8 Lumia black put back on my phone. If that doesnt work they say they will replace my phone with one that doesnt have 8.1 on it.
  • Brilliant work MS. Hope all official apps jump on this and utilize the APIs provided and bring us all a better user experience.
  • Hoping Skype integration into the messaging hub happens sooner rather that later.
  • Me too, what I miss more it's the Messaging Hub, moving from SMS to Messenger was amazing
  • I agree with you two, but I think Microsoft is trying to force people OFF messenger and onto skype, not the other way around. Not only does it not support FB messaging, it doesnt support any kind of WiFi messaging. All it's for now is texting.
  • We lost two things. Facebook message integration (I dont really care) and ability to post statuses on multiple social networks. (I care a lot as this was probably the only way I used twitter anymore) I'm really gunna miss this. And hopefully it'll come book as more social networks use this
  • I miss them too.
  • we also lost the "pictures" view in the contact card (or group) which would show you the FB images of the person (or group) and let you see their image posts and reply withing the OS comments without delay. Now, it launches the massive FB app and you have to basically use the app. This was one of the things I would demo all the time to family friends because it was so blazingly fast and didn't require going in and out of FB all the time.
  • Yeah, i used that a lot. It was fast and smooth. Now i have to wait ages for FB app to open and load all the data on mi humble 512 Mb device. I think i'm gonna remove the Me Tile too.
  • I miss this as well.  SO much of WP8.1 is not even a step back, it's all out pretending to be iOS or Android at the expense of what made WP BETTER than them.  I'm more angry about the 8.1 changes to WP than I was to the 8.1 Update 1 changes to Windows on the PC.
  • Same here! It's not just a step backwards, it's abandoning everything WP was supposed to be about in the first place!
  • My #1 most missed feature
  • I just wish it wasn't ripped out of the underbelly of WP. I loved it. Not to mention, Facebook notifications still don't show up, and Facebook messenger doesn't support themes.. :D
  • Yeah, one step back, and two steps forward, but this is exciting. Looking forward to more social networks plugging into this framework...
  • Will WPCentral be plugging into the SEF? That would be awesome!!
  • We could see chat services integration into SMS hub down the line. If that happened, nobody could really complain about losing Facebook chat integration.
  • The most important aspect that users will actually care about is speed. Are the changes faster or slower than what we had before? The main problem with the new Games hub and Music apart from the removal of some features, is that their slower. There's now splash screen where their used to be no splash screens and ever once the apps are open you still get performance issues. I'm all for everything in WP being replaced with apps that do the same job, but the app framework needs to be improved to a point where nobody would be able to tell that they were apps. With some of the stuff thats in the preview that's not the case, and things like the games hub which I've never had an issue with have been made worse so that they can be updated.
  • I can't post more than 5 images to Facebook now!!
  • sorry but the promise is one thing but the devivery is another. Launching the app is just too laggy. What used to take fractions of a second and follow the OS experience is now a laggy experience followed by frustration and dissapointment. Case in point, I used to see a live tile show a new image one of my relatives posted. I could tap the tile and instantly see the image, then scroll down and add comments. now, things are different: FB heavy UI loads after several seconds of lag. Often the thing that loads doesn't even look like WP. And to make matters worse, it didn't even load the standard FB app but some weirdo view which lacks all the full app functionality. So if you want to do anything have to relaunch the freaking app!!! So I get all the techincal reasons this is better, but they really need to work on the implementation. The change from the smooth OS to the jarring laggy app is just too much to bear.
  • "sorry but the promise is one thing but the devivery is another."
    True, but the the promise of easy posting to FB and Twitter that was in the previous version did not exactly catch fire either for Windows Phone. How many people bought WP because it could do that? I'm sure there are a few, but not enough. I get the older system was preferred by many for somewhat obvious reasons. But here's the thing: outside of some dedicated users, it did nothing for Microsoft's market share. I think changing things up and bringing the social framework in line with Windows 8.1 was the way to go. Will it work? I don't know. But I do know the old way wasn't working either.
  • Perhaps the old was wasn't the reason people bought Windows Phone but instead the reason people kept using Windows Phone... hmmm
  • I'm not sure that's a reason to keep it. Look, they're trying to unify Windows and Phone. How do you do that if they have different methods for social and app interaction? They need to have the same APIs, the same dev tools and the same behavior, otherwise 'one app Store' can't happen. No one is saying the old method didn't have its benefits. It did. But do they outweigh the cons? That has not yet been demonstrated.
  • THAT'S PART OF MY POINT!  As much as I love Windows 8, I was truly hoping Microsoft would bring Windows Phone features over to the PC, NOT the other way around!  Let me put in these terms: I use to push Windows Phone to anyone I could talk to.  Now, I do not.  I have nothing outside of Cortana that I'm enthusiastic about.  There are no advantages, no real differentiation with Windows Phone anymore.
  • Fair enough. I still think they went a bit too agressive and risk the windows 8 problem: half the time I hit share...the app I want doesn't implement that contract. I kind of wish things like the messaging and pictures hub would have evolved in the other direction: instead of sending you to the app to do everything meaning there is no longer a "hub" but rather a collection of app shorcuts, let the app serve its data to the OS for visualization, and let the app receive data from the OS to carry some task without ever needing to load its heavy UI. In this way MSFT could optimize the visualization and keep it OS consistent, while the app can deal with the application protocol specifics and API changes as it sees fit. They could even allow developers to specify a set of commands to show on the OS level toolbar for a given view and the metadata to return back to the app. Clearly this would limit the possible number of interactions that are possible for a given content type. But the idea is that for most people, sending a message, viewing and liking (or RT or +1) an image, or replying to some comment can be defnined by a standard contract which would handle 90% of scenarios while allowing the developer (or user) to fall back to the app for that 10%. The problem with the pictures hub, messaging hub, and people hub was that MSFT never published a project template so you could hand the data to the OS so the promise also never lived to the potential. Would we have this discussion if one of the project types in the WP 7.0 SDK was: "New Pictures Hub Data Provider"? hmmm.  
  • Do you actually believe making it more like iOS and Android is going to draw people to the platform?  Seriously?  I think that is preposterous thinking on Microsoft's part.
  • When all you have is a tiny 1 digit share of the phone market, a "few" people is HALF your customer base! "Get in, get out, get back to life" was not why a "FEW" people bought WPs. It was the entire basis for the whole ad campaign that pointed out the design feature--totally unique to windowsphones-- that gave people a reason to switch in the first place! Integrated, self contained hubs! So you didnt have to spend your day opening and closing dozens of different apps. But at least it was a growing market share. Now everything that made WP different and better is down the toilet.
  • Neonspark wins the internet. Oh, and in the future cars will fly... but that's then and now now.
  • The only thing which made me switch from iphone 3G to Lumia 800 and then Lumia 1020 was people hub and social integration in WP. Also xbox avatar in wp 7.5 was far better than wp 8. and now in wp 8.1 nothing happens when you touch the avatar. Now I dont see any big differences between WP and other operating systems (ios and android). They have also more features!  At this stage, Im not sure if I am going to buy any new windows phones or suggest to anyone specially now (as there is no Nokia). I have surface pro 2 and Microsoft support compare to Nokia is nothing (specially in app department). Look at the skype app!   
  • My avatar no longer appears in my live tile either. Kind of miss that. It was fun
  • I'm right there with you (although in Games my avatar does a lot and dances even more?). But yep, if this doesn't get better quick, if there is no word from MS on how this is going to improve, my next phone won't be a Windows Phone. And that will be embarrassing, because I got a lot of people I know moved over.
  • I love this new feature!
  • Good article.  And timely too.  Tired of seeing complaints about this in the forums.  Is it less functional than before?  Yes.  Is it worth it to break the dependency allowing faster updates to both SEF functionality (through the respective apps) and the OS?  Absolutely.
  • Thank You Daniel For The Great News Of WhatsApp! Looking forward to the update!
  • Now only if links to social networks actually opened in the app like IOS and Android and not in IE
  • The apps can it works on instagram and WP Central
  • I agree, still "broken" in that way. But its always the next update.
  • I hope Microsoft is working with the social networks to implement this in their apps
  • @daniel its really awesome & knowledgeable article. As i am still on wp8.0 & waiting for official wp8.1 but SEF is really awesome whenever I will get wp8.1. Another feature, this feature must added on wp8.1 features if not    
  • I still prefer the old way, its painful doing anything for FB in the people hub now, its just too slow jumping in and out from the hub to facebook. In fact, I have pretty much stopped using the hub all together, and just check the apps individually. Before, it was really convieniant and everything worked fluidly. Now it doesnt, unless they allow the people hub to work as it did before, but just use the apps in the background to post updates, I dont think I will ever prefer it to the way it was.
  • Maybe some years ahead when quad core and Facebook app improvements have captured up it will get faster and smoother. Bit I agree, its way to slow now, and is current hardware performance up to the task to improve or are in the "future" once again, you know, were it will get better in the next update. Time will tell I guess.
  • Once again, the problem.  One of the bragging points of WP was that you didn't NEED as powerful a device to get AWESOME performance and user experience.  Now...well, we've become Android....without the market influence.
  • Yammer integration. :)
  • Damnit, I want that Twitter beta
  • Only thing that i hated in WP 8.1 preview is that they removed FB integraton :(
  • I completely agree. Although I miss all the hubs.
  • Microsoft, couldn't you have found a way to make the People Hub and/or Me tile updateable apps? This excuse of having to update the entire OS seems a bit dated. A company the size of Microsoft with the resources it has should have been able to figure out a way to keep the spirit of Windows Phone alive.
  • Indeed. I think so too.
  • They could have added the integration functions to the API. Maybe they will in the future?
  • I miss the ability to post quickly from the peoples hub. It takes longer to open the official app. I guess that's all part and parcel but it'd be nice if you didn't have to open the app completely.
  • So, is the ability to talk via facebook/sms/skype in the same messaging thread gone forever, or is it being "reimagined"? Basically, is the integration to messaging a part of this SEF, or not?
  • Microsoft has not said what their plans are for Messaging post 8.1. All we know is what is in 8.1 for now.
  • I think it's a tradeoff between convinience and future extensibility. Social in WP8.0 was its hallmark. I am not sure how many bought into this or how it helped or didnt help MS' market share but for those who have used it like me, it was a God-send. The only times it didnt play well was when there were changes in the backend, mostly from Facebook's side, that crippled the built-in messaging. Sometimes, signing into Skype also screwed up the builtin chat system. So we had a great convienience albeit at the cost of delayed corrective steps most of which could have been beyond MS' control. I understand the need for SEF but it should also enable one very important thing - quality control for the apps that plugin to it. Even if you factor in the fact that the current implementation is in preview, there seems to be no silver lining on the horizon that things would improve. What if FB is still defiant from making a decent app on WP? And what steps can MS take to ensure that these apps have not only feature parity with other versions but also are a cut above and are intune with the WP experience? For the moment, I see it as only a different way of launching the app although I could be wrong in the long run (which is fervently hope so). What if other SNS apps still show a cold shoulder even with the new APIs and universal app runtimes? Its not like 8.1 is going to exponentially increase WP sales. It can only sustain it and gradually increase it at best. Still it would not give devs, who look at market shares, the incentive to develop for the OS. This would result in no apps or half baked first party apps like the current situation further complicating the problem. The app should be made to behave like an extension of the OS. Only then, the E in SEF would hold any promise. The new framework should serve to enhance or augment the social nature of the OS instead of just being an app launcher for SNS apps. I am not being negative here, just trying to analyze what can go wrong. As much as it holds promise on paper, the current implementation is shoddy at best. Agreed, MS has given us a LOT to drool about in 8.1 but somewhere, it feels as if they could have improved upon the existing inbuilt SNS features in 8.0 while still giving head room to plugin more services and all the while making it easy to implement any backend or frontend API changes with the least downtime. I am not a developer so may be this is eutopia and not feasible from a programmer's point of view but that would be a good thing to implement and improve upon is what I feel. In short, until the apps themselves prove and show dedication for platform support, there is little benefit to this wonderful strategy.
  • Good thoughts.
  • Well 8.1 is awesome..but there were many more features claimed to be arriving.. But they didn't..why nobody is talking about them.. Just glance at the article dan posted about upcoming features a month ago.. You will find many features still missing.. Like I was excited about WiFi direct,I don't know where it got buried.. No news no article about it..i knw the more we get the more we ask for but at least something about it??
  • Things were pulled at the last minute, and some others require new firmware e.g. BT LE is gone in the Preview for Nokia devices, and Miracast don't work either. Needs new firmware.
  • But facebook in 8.1 is broken. We having trouble getting data is pretty much present all the time.
  • Agree with the entire article.
  • Having a huge impact on WP? Yes indeed. It's not a matter of getting used to, its a question of acceptance.
    I will have to accept that app loading times will kill the experience on my Lumia 1020. I will have to accept a companys app design no matter how lame it looks compared to the native "metro" experience. If Facebook only have a white theme I will have only white theme. And I have to accept that Microsoft failed WP original vision.
    I will always miss the hub, I can probably get used to it. But will I accept it, being in my experience, a worse solution then what we had? WP 8.1 is a love and hate experience for me. So much good stuff in here, but also a big change of the future for WP. Me personally found WP to be one thing Microsoft did right, and should had fallen in line accordingly with its other products and it self. Unfortunately Sinofsky destroyed all that and here we are, making a unique experience similar to the competitors. Will it gain customers? Sure will because it moves closer to Android and iOS instead of its unique path.
    I find this solution they made for 8.1 and the social hub bad, and while it can, and probably will be better, WP is now, for the user now, a slower and worse experience according to me.
  • "Move closer to Android and iOS" This what dreads me. We should move closer in terms of market acceptance without losing the platform's USPs instead of moving closer to resembling them. Every step that MS has been taking is more of an appeasement to iDroid users than adding more uniqueness to WP, save some of the new features. The same is the case with desktop Windows 8.1 Update 1. It was really easier to work in the Metro enviroment without this update. The new window buttons on the Metro apps and inconsistency in the context menus between the Start Screen and individual Metro apps has further cluttered the interface. Giving OEMs the same Qualcomm reference design may be good on paper and win a few makers but what about a simple unique feature like a dedicated hardware camera button? And the earlier reports that Android apps could possibly run on WP in the future doesnt augur well for the platform. What benefit did it do to Blackberry?  Is it that tough to sustain the momentum than to follow the competition? Questions which I doubt will have convincing answers....
  • See, but the more people want "app parity" the more this happens. These companies want their apps to at least look the same across the board.
  • True. May be the evangelists at MS can talk to these devs to maintain the design philosophy. Soon, this could turn out to be a dangerous trend in that all app designs would eventually be the same with the only incentive that WP apps are "flatter". And then there is the whole concept of optimizing the app to run properly without draining resources. Somebody needs to step on the gas here. Thrive happily but not at the cost of what brought people to your platform in the first place.
  • The previous was far better
  • You can still have deep integration using APIs. It's not a case of one or the other. Microsoft just didn't and that's what people don't like. They've got the Daniel Rubino mindset. Ideal would be if all the hubs had APIs that apps could use to integrate themselves into the hubs. Hubs like People, Messaging, Pictures... you know like Windows Phone 7 but with APIs instead of hard-coding the services. A mind blowing idea for some journalists apparently...
  • Exactly - although Daniel did emphasize this is the first version and it will evolve. I think we are seeing a half-baked solution which has some problems but has the potential to be much better eventually.
  • I like how you just solved the problem with a sentence or two, without having to actually worry about doing the coding work. "Just do this guys, duh". That's now how this works and Microsoft very often has good reasons for not doing something that arm-chair coders think is easy. You act like APIs can universally translate every feature of service in a universal streamlined hub. Like FB like buttons and Twitter RT buttons can just "show up" in my Messaging stream that has singular UI. Or what about Stickers. You oversimplify. What your describing results in a neutered experience, since there is no way every nook and cranny of a service can be jammed into a unified messaging hub. It's not possible. Instead, you get a 'stripped down' posting experience, like what we have had for years. Then you tell people 'you want more? get the app.' How is that a well designed system? Also, don't ever call me a 'journalist'. It's freakin' insulting. I do way more than that.
  • I dunno man. This system right now is not a well-designed system. Also, what's wrong with: Default to the fast, fluid, beautiful system, with a link to open the app right on that screen. There is nothing ill-designed about that. Guess who already uses that model? Windows Phone. When you view a photo, my friend, and can use the regular OS features on it. Or, tap Open in Nokia Camera, etc, and use the extended app features on it. Would it be harder to accomplish in Messaging? Yeah, maybe that wouldn't work there. But, everywhere else, it makes perfect sense. And as far as messaging integration, Windows Phone is now the one platform without it. How friggin awful would it be to integrate Skype into messaging, for texts, with a button on the app bar to open that conversation in Skype, if you want to do things like start a call. It would not be ill-designed. It would be convenient, useful, and give users a fast, fluid, beautiful (you call it neutered) experience and a quick option to elevate to the slow, ugly, but more feature-full app.
  • An extensibility framework is clearly a good idea, and publishing APIs that 3rd parties plug into is the way to go.
    However, I cant see any reason why one of those APIs could have been a messaging API, that would have allowed apps to plugin to the native WP messaging system.
    Likewise, the API could have a "post update" hook that apps hooked into to post things like simultaneous FB and twitter updates without opening the app.
    It's perfectly feasible to achieve what they wanted to do without sacrificing two of the features many of us love.
    I hope that they are working on this for a later release.
  • This is so true, especially considering that MS is only offering the API to select developers currently. They could design integration APIs for those handful of apps that would enable the prior functionality. This is a work in progress.
  • "However, I cant see any reason why one of those APIs could have been a messaging API, that would have allowed apps to plugin to the native WP messaging system."
    I'm pretty sure the problem is that you can't have an API that captures ALL of a service's functions. So by default, you have a stripped down messaging experience. Sure you can post basic things, but if you want to do more e.g. 'quote RT', you have to open the app. That shuttling people off to an app, only some of the time, is confusing and redundant. I mean, I get it...I really digged the old system too, but in the long run I think this is more prudent for Microsoft's vision of a unified system and app store.
  • I don't think it is that confusing or objectionable. I mean, aren't live tiles just a reduced, read-only functionality of the main app? if you want more, you launch the app.
    This concept is baked through the OS.
  • This is *exactly* what Windows Phone does in the Photos app and no one seems to mind that one bit. In fact, it was a hailed feature when it came out. As far as Microsoft's vision here, what IS that? How can SEF and updates to these apps result I more features than there are right now? All this is is deep-linking, and it would require an OS update to add anyplace else for SEF apps to tie into, right? Sooo... How does that speed anything up?
  • sync this sync that if the apps manage it individually that would cause battery drain
  • is anyone else facing an issue where the profile photo of the Me Tile has become blurred and low quality after upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1?? also, all my contacts in the people hub have lost their facebook pics that would appear along with their names.. was really excited with the 8.1 but this roblem has really become a killjoy..  
  • Re-sync using the FB app in "people" settings. The contact pics will eventually come.
  • My only problem with the "people hub /what's new section" is that APIs like the official Facebook app are so slow that launching the app makes a quick like our comment now take ages....i know as the app gets configured out will most likely be optimal but going off of history..I not too sure when a better Facebook experience is coming..... As well as other future apps. If Microsoft can get these developers to really care and make quality apps I think this may be one of their biggest victories and really a feature that could really be marketed to attract converts!!
  • Ok, here's my issues with this. And feel free to call me a creature of habit, but whatever. The "habit" we had in WP was great. Why does it have to be so much more different than the ways it works in W8.1 now, which is very much like WP has been.   I understand that the "apps" haven't been fully updated and all that, but so far I absolutely, 1,000% HATE the time it takes and seeing the BS splash screens that I have to see when I want to do something as simple as reply to a FB post. I know it's nit picky, but I'm not an app fiend... I don't get all excited about "apps", I like ability.   You used the term "can do" and "potential" several times, and THAT is what bothers me. They CAN do it. But is there any guarantee that they WILL do it? I'm seeing more and more branding consistency across OS's with these apps, and that doesn't make me feel too cool about the possibility of them creating an experience specifically for WP. I mean so far NONE of them have delivered anything worthwhile. So it's difficult to put trust in that as opposed to expecting to hear, "well, WP is not selling well enough for us to commit to designing apps specifically for that OS". Kinda reminds me of Live Tiles. Greatest concept in mobile tech in a while (IMO). But when lazy developers got a hold of them, it almost defeated the purpose of them.   Pardon my rants, but "official apps" don't mean as much to me as it does to most. I like them, and appreciate what they are. But that's about it. Especially when 3+ years into it and they still ignore this OS and it's users. If anything MS needs to weave Skype into the OS the ways they are saying this should work in order to show what "can" happen. Edit:
    Sorry for saying what so many have said, I posted before I read through.
  • You are absolutely right and the author is absolutely wrong. I *LOVE* my simple "built in, native experience".  One of the major reasons I preferred Windows phone is the hubs, and the fact that I didnt have to open Facebook to post to facebook, and Twitter to post to twitter. The author claims "it didnt pan out"??? Sorry, but it's one of the features that made WP better and was driving what little growth windows phone has had! The whole POINT of windows phone is built in, native integration so you dont have to spend your day opening &  closing apps and waiting for them to load, but so you can "get in and get out and get back to life."....Remember THAT??? GONE! I am SO ANGRY at this blog for telling us there would be no downside to installing a 1-step forward-3 steps back update that has 2 flashy new gimmicks I will rarely use (Cortana & clear tiles)  in exchange for DESTROYING ALL the integrated hubs (Me, People, Messaging, Photos, Music, Games) that are one of THE major reasons I bought windows phone in the first place. AWESOME! Now I get to sit around waiting and waiting for windows to open this app, then that app, then another app, loading, loading, loading. They destroyed the entire POINT of windows phone! "Get in, Get out, get back to life" I am now trying to figure out a way to exchange my phone for one that does NOT have windows 8.1 on it, after following this blog's assine advice and bulls**** promise that there were no bugs and no downsides to upgrading. SOOOOOO angry! PS: Speaking as a brand manager, the clear tiles will DESTROY WindowsPhone's entire design & brand identity. Apps are already popping up all over the place to change the ENTIRE way WP looks, by turning ALL tiles into clear tiles, and making headers, and blank tiles, and making dedicated Microsoft & other brand tiles clear....and these live tiles no longer are live. Clear, but dead. A little white icon that does nothing, so you can see your precious wallpaper. Why even HAVE live tiles in the first place, if what you really want (as everyone who likes this update is excited about) is to look at your wallpaper? This update destroys the WP brand, destroys Metro, destroys Hubs, destroys Live tiles, destroys the brilliant simplicity, the intuitiveness, the "get in, get out" integration, destroys EVERYTHING that made a Windowsphone a Windowsphone. It makes windowsphone MUCH more like Android and Iphone...and NOT in a good way. It is the beginning of the end of Windowsphone.
  • PPS: Remember the whole "windowsphone challenge" ad campaign that highlighted how much faster people could do what they wanted to do because of the hubs? The entire reason for switching to begin with?? GONE! Now the hubs are nothing more than glorified app-openers that take forever to load and by the way are much uglier now too! If I were Android or iphone I would IMMEDIATELY start running "challenge" ads that show how much slower, less integrated, and less intuitive 8.1 is.
  • Lol, I thought I was the only one who feels crazy emotional over this. It's funny because when I use the phone now I catch myself absolutely FUMING. You should have seen me the other day when I wanted to add an appointment to the calendar and tilted the phone to see the month fill up the screen and nothing happened. Lol. (BTW the Calendar looks like crap. Fyi.)
  • I've collected a number of changes here: Check it out and vote on as many of those changes as you want reverted.  Every hyperlink is a link to User Voice.  Pass that short link along to as many friends as you can.  Only by voting can we hope to change these hub-killing changes. Killing Hubs means Windows Phone has no point to exist.  We all might as well get iPhones and Android phones. Case in point: Music+Videos.  Started thus: Desktop: Zune for music, tv, movie, music video purchase and podcast subscription; music, tv, movie, music video, podcast management and synch to phone
    Phone: Zune Hub for music, tv, movie, music video, podcast, audiobook management and discovery/purchase. Now? Desktop: X-Box Music, X-Box Video, Windows Phone synch, no podcast app, no audiobook app, no app store app
    Phone: X-Box Music, X-Box Video, Podcasts, Radio, Store, no audiobook app; XBM/XBV perform incredibly poorly now. For iPhone users:
    Desktop: iTunes
    Phone: iTunes So...why do we supposedly need 5 apps on the desktop and the phone?  How is this progress?  Do you really think we Windows Phone users will convince iPhone users to switch, or we'll get laughed out of the room?
  • Sean, You're not alone here.  I can't stand the Hub Death in 8.1.  My options now: go to iPhone/Android, uninstall 8.1 to 8.0 and never upgrade, or give up smart phones altogether.  I will not be using 8.1 just to get Cortana.  I can deal with that quite well, thank you. Check my phone here: and vote for as much of those links as you agree with.  I collected them in one place to make it easy for people to express their opinions on the 8.1 changes.  I agree.  Too much emphasis on 'potential' when Microsoft often fails to actually deliver.  Just look at Zune Hub morphing into X-Box Music/Videos.
  • Facebook integration was simple but good to have. Anyone else annoyed that we can't save pictures into OneDrive like we were used to? Have to open the app and actually upload pictures one by one? Also it doesn't detect my Other Pictures folder so it won't upload anything from it..
  • Oh my god, yeah, I am just assuming that it's because the OneDrive app needs an update to plug into the new "features." (I cannot believe they have driven me to becoming the person who would write "features" in quotes. I hate that.)
  • Excellent article Daniel!
  • I don't care what they call it or what it can do. If my experience is slower and bulkier then I don't want it.
  • Basically.
  • Preach!
  • While I appreciate the idea to integrate the apps deeper in the OS, there are 2 things I'd like to see:-
    1.) Better quality and fully functional apps
    2.) The 'People' part of all these apps integrated in the photos hub. Example- if I want to check the fb photos of one of my contacts, I can do that from the photos hub. I miss this feature in 8.1
  • Get fb integration back or we need offcial app from the fuckers of fb.
  • Foursquare is the one I really want, so I can connect it to check-in via the me tile. The others are Linkedin and Instagram (which I suspect will be out of beta with their 8.1 release).
  • Same. That could be really neat. Of if they add a 'post photo' one where we can hook into Flickr or Instagram.
  • Yeah new system is crap only post a link and that's it...if I want too share I must use a desktop
  • I hate this... the older one was better I could update on all social networks at once. Now if want to post something to FB, it becomes a stupid procedure and again tweeting for twitter... It's just super lame.... all the other things and advantages of SEF apart... They should have kept the feature alive and just added the SEF, the deep integration should've stayed there...the FB app takes ages to sync even on WiFi...
  • My thoughts also. The old simple sharing was nice and easy. I never shared to multiple networks but for those who did it must be frustrating now. :( I feel like I'm trading easy for app features. :(
  • The issue was not 'is the feature good' but rather 'Is it sustainable in the long run?'. Sure it was great doing what you described, but if the OS had to be updated to fix things, or it resulted in reduced posting experience (with you having to use the app 'to do more'), those aren't trivial problems to solve either. I'm sure MS didn't remove this because they thought it sucked to use, but rather it didn't line up with their long term plans for the OS (and Windows) unification. Regardless, feedback is good and I'm sure they're listening.
  • But now I can do less, I can't even tag people in facebook picture uploaded. I can say they are with me, but not tag the actual,pic. I can't even share articles correctly anymore.
  • Solution; make it a standalone app like they did with music. They didn't need to cripple it
  • Awesome, this is like the second time that Windows Phone has redone everything because the previous stuff wasn't "sustainable in the long run.) Last time I got. This time, how about: add the new stuff, deal with the overlapping for awhile until you get the new stuff good enough. That would be far better than to stick us with this slow, ugly, 1/3-complete system until however long I takes to make it useable. As an aside: The. New. Cursor. Is. Killing. Me.
  • Post to the User Voice site!  And vote there!
  • Check out my post here: If you see some other things I listed you don't like, please vote.  Every hyperlink in that post is a user voice request.  The more we vote, the more likely it'll get done.  Please pass that along to as many friends as you can so we can make a difference!
  • I'm just grateful for what I got. It is what it is. Straight up.
  • I hope. Because I miss my post one share every where
  • But... But... It's so gosh darn show now
  • Good thing that I dont use any social networks (that much that I would need all these features) but Google+, 500px haha :)
    Anyways, ist sharing to multiple social networks available on Android since ever? Gotta check Edit: Yes cant find it on my Nexus, but I remember having it on somewhere HTC or Lg, Samsung, or it was up to the application..
  • This only makes sense. This is the way it should have been done. These social networks are fads and they will soon fade and new ball players will come into play. I just wish Xbox live and PlayStation accounts can tie into people contacts.
  • I dunno. Facebook and Twitter have been around, and doing the same stuff, from the day Windows Phone 7 was announced.up to today. The big social networks may be fads, but apparently not on the timescale of phone OS updates! The fad seems to be Microsoft's vision for Windows Phone, which is changing more frequently.
  • Wasn't the Xbox Music app supposed to get updated today?
  • What are the chances they will give Rudy access to these APIs? I'm betting they are good considering they had him build the lock screen app they showed off at build. (speaking of the lock screen app where is it?)
  • Thank you for this. I needed a little hand holding. I was definitely frustrated.
  • Multiple selection upload doesn't work anymore with Onedrive.
  • Problem is, there's no use any more for the "what's new" people hub... If I need to open the app so I could comment/like etc. I might as well just use the apps. That's sad, as people hub was my favorite thing and the first thing people got excited about when demoing WP for them, even more than live tiles. Hopefully the in-hub reply will return with a future update.
  • Really? I like the Whats New, it shows social updates (optionally filtered) from just my contacts all in one spot.
  • That's true, but for me it feels as the 7.X/8.0 "What's New" was read/write, and the new 8.1 is read only... I "sold" 4 WP to friends just by showing them how they can post on a wall straight from the contact.
  • Me too
  • The "what's new" is less useful than the posts actually relevant to me (which they removed from the hub)
  • Soooo.... That feature you still like, even though it is a "redundant, neutered and less functional" version than the timeline in each of the apps?
  • I agree with you. What's the point of having "what's new" if I have to open an app just to view or comment or even like it. Not even my contacts link up like they use to
  • The only problem is that the Facebook app is too laggy. If it's fast and fluid, I don't think people would complain as much. I'd like for it to be open to all developers like the built-in sharing functionality. I imagine a developer creating an app that allows users to post to multiple social networks like we were able to in WP8.
  • That is certainly true, though I have to say I don't notice it much on the 1520. Not that that's a solution, there should be a faster posting ability. Keep in mind, the FB app for 8.1 is most likely not complete yet.
  • It's not simply about posting to multiple networks. We also lost the ability to quickly get updated on activity across our social networks and to quickly interact with these networks. Having to open separate apps in order to do these things,is a huge step backwards in efficiency. I'm thoroughly disappointed and bordering on disenchanted with WP and the direction they're headed. Ugh!
  • What happened to share with OneDrive?
  • Now after reading your article i ahve lost all hopes for inbuilt fb returning to 8.1.Wish it did!It was much better than now.And also the integration of related apps for example in music hub having moli player , tune in radio etc was awesome.Don't like the changes made to these.
  • Seems faster
  • It sucks that Microsoft's idea of advancing the OS is just to pull out features and make it more app centric, like iOS and Android. The main strength of the platform was the ability to do most tasks without needing to find and download the app for it.
  • And putting it in the hands of companies/developers who up to this point haven't showed enough attention to WP.
  • As a Windows Phone 7.0 user from launch. I absolutetly hate this.
  • I would like to see Instagram connected to the photo hub... That would be AMAZING!!
  • It would have been an improvement if new functionality didn't mean having to give up what made the phone unique. We could start a conversation in fb and continue in sms, messenger, whatever. Now that's gone. Windows phones were great because of all you could do right out of the box, and the hub integration. Now that's gone.  I could swipe from the message screen to see who was online - now that's gone too. Sorry, this isn't better, it's a slap in the face of fans who bought into the platform because of those features. If FB wants to promote their dedicated messaging software, let them, but do not cripple WP because of that.
  • My feelings exactly.
  • Yeah, basically everything I would show people that WP could do from the point that you get your phone, has all been removed in 8.1... :(
  • Can't wait, hopefully all of these improvements means more developer support! It's been so long since the official Instagram Twitter, and Vine apps have been updated.
  • Let me pick apart some of this.  First, the "one stop area" under "Connect" is anything BUT a one-stop area.  Anytime you are kicked to the "official" app is a foul, as far as I'm concerned.  In fact, this so-called consistent linking to the OS just means it's CONSITENTLY BAD.  Share is the same problem.  Have you SEEN the stupidity that happens when you try to share a photo to FB or Twitter?  Why can't the picture just GO?  Oh, but, NO, we have to get kicked to a stupid app and edit or do other garbage before we can actually send the photo.  And, I'm sorry, but it is NOT a hub if you get kicked to an APP to view the photos or otherwise interact.  Wanna know what that is?  It's an app folder.  Which I HATE app folders.  There's a reason a do not have that app on my phone.  So, no, sir, you cannot call it a hub if all it does is aggregate apps.  A real hub aggregates the feed of the respective network, providing nearly seamless access.  But Microsoft has all but destroyed that with 8.1.  Messaging is a lame joke that looks no different and holds no benefit over iOS or Android.  There is SO much that is flat wrong with 8.1.
  • Actually as much as I hate to admit it, ios runs SMS and ichat in the same area, doesn't it? I just read that android will have hangouts and SMS run under their messaging client. So with these other companies jumping on a bandwagon that MS created, MS is in turn jumpion off to force apps at people. Again, I do believe that a large part of this is coming from FB as they do more and more to monetize their site.
  • I agree, facebook gets all the official app traffic which then lets them charge more for advertising.
  • This. Ms made a mistake here. They need to fix it
  • Me tile where are you, how much I miss your speed, please come back to us.
    Sent from: The king of smartphones Nokia Lumia 1520.
  • Social integration without messaging is useless.
  • Is there anywhere official we can give feedback (complain) to MS about how this was a step backwards in terms of useability? Can't we get a petition going or something?! In addition to not being able to post to multiple accounts and the lag/inconvenience of the app having to open everytime I want to post, the loss of the ME notification center is a major loss. The best thing about the Me Notification Center was that it provided a persistent log of all relevant social updates related to me in one place where I could also respond if desired. Now, I have to open each app and check manually for any interactions, and annoyingly I have to see non-relevant spammy Facebook event invites in my Notification Center if I want to see any Facebook updates at all. The Me Notifications was a major OS differentiator and will be sorely missed; from a UX perspective it's defintiely a step in the wrong direction.
  • +925 well said and I feel the same way.
  • Its absolutely a step backwards. MS can blow all the smoke they want over this in hopes that we don't see that, but most of us aren't gerbils. We have eyes.
  • This!
  • Oh and as far as I know this is the only official way to post grievances [url= list of things removed from 8.1 that need to be added back. – Feature Suggestions for Windows Phone[/url] [url= Please Bring Back Inline Messaging to WP8.1[/url] [URL=" back the original photos hub in 8.1[/URL] [URL=" back the notification pane on the Me Tile[/URL] [URL=" Games from the App List[/URL]
  • Ah I prefer Apps with more features and functionality.
  • I think most people like the option of more features in the app, but the whole point of WP was to be simple and quick when you want it. With the 8.1 update, it is no longer quick or simple for even basic things.
  • I like having integration in the Photos Hub but I wish it would go further. Particularly, I would like to see the ability to click on the Twitter tile in the Photo Hub and see the pictures of all the people I follow instead of just my own pictures. Or even better be able to access my friends/followers Photos and Videos in the People Hub.
  • Meeh
  • I'm most upset that Facebook Messenger isn't plugged into the Messaging hub now. It was so nice to see single-stream chat... I hope they add it to the SEF soon.
  • Its frustrating to take something that was awesome and turn it into not awesome.
  • This
  • Honestly, it sounds like big hype over weak features. Its still a horrible experience. And it'll only be somewhat of a success if other apps take advantage of it. The 8.0 way was was cooler, prettier, easier, and unique. This is just horrible. [url= list of things removed from 8.1 that need to be added back. – Feature Suggestions for Windows Phone[/url] [url= Please Bring Back Inline Messaging to WP8.1[/url] [URL=" back the original photos hub in 8.1[/URL] [URL=" back the notification pane on the Me Tile[/URL] [URL=" Games from the App List[/URL]
  • Thank you Darkgift. I'll take a look...
  • SEF sounds good un theory, but I'm worried the experience will be poor in the ling run. Why, app switching. Sounds fancy and dynamic, but in time will be a crippling experience with time and loading lags. Great for updates, but has there ever been a consideration that not every update or new feature is good perse. More often than not I've experienced functionality and reliability becomes of bigger value over time. The old poeople hub in this article us being written off as a poor experience. Which in my experience is simply not thecase. And I'm still on 7.x. I think people will enjoy a more seamless and integrated experience if social is all in one place. To some degree SEF is an elegant solution, but is in daily life not the right solution and simply more of the same, thus app switching, powerful yes, the best answer for windows phone end user experience, no. I think windows phone deserves better.
  • Unless it can let me share to ll mh networks at once, for me, it wont be better. That's all I use social networks for. :P someone needs to make an app for that if MS wont...and right now :P
  • It did make since to take notifications off the me tile and put them in the notifications center. I like the notifications center a lot. I like the facebook integration in the people app actually. I just wish I could comment, or like in the people hub for facebook instead of opening the facebook app. I've got the facebook messenger app, so that helps with the lost of it in the message center. I wish we can add apps to the message hub.
  • Want Instagram integration!
  • Daniel, I like how you insult people by saying the reason we prefer the FAST, FLUID, BEAUTIFUL integration from before is due to "habit." Are you forgetting that that system is exactly what Microsoft said was wonderful about Windows Phone, since day one? And spent all their time telling us and everyone? Do you think it was because they didn't believe it? Well, uh, I believe it too. It is better because it is faster, smoother, more convenient, and more pleasant to use. It is better and easier to pick a person in the People hub if you want to see pictures of him , and use a highly-designed, fast interface to see the pictures collected from where-ever---than to have to open several different apps, each using a different interface, to try to find them, and THEN save them to your phone's saved pictures before being able to open another app to do anything with them. That second scenario is the one Windows Phone was ALL ABOUT improving on. It was everything they marketed. The Windows Phone way was the ONLY thing that made anyone I know see my phone and go, "oh wow, that's really cool. And pretty. I wish mine did that." So no, it's not "habit," its wanting to use a system that everyone who used Windows Phone AND MADE Windows Phone had decided was better. This new system is. not. better as a user experience. It is neither faster, nor more convenient, nor more beautiful, nor more feature enriched. And I still do not see how SEF will result it it being so, if all it does is deep-link into apps. We could always launch the app. We still can launch the app. So. What.
  • Alright, alright, I can see I am feeling way too passionate about this issue. Sorry--but it is hard not to get worked up! :)
  • Bingo!
  • Very well said! Plus, I don't think their reasoning behind all this is a valid one - that its difficult for MSFT to keep up with the feature / functionality changes of the relevant apps and integrate all of those feature updates in the People / Me Hub. Well, what's the rush? We have survived having to deal with the lack of functionality in the People Hub anyways. Heck, when was the last time MSFT updated the Hub anyways?
    For advanced features set, the app was always available right? Plus, aren't we being promised atleast one major OS update and about 3 smaller OS updates on a yearly basis? Can MSFT not make the required feature changes or even integrate the People Hub with say, an Instagram or Vine in one of these OS updates. Given that the OS updates will take place almost quarterly or so, we can definitely wait for the relevant updates to be made to the People Hub. They start on something unique, something that got us to love the OS and now decide to discontinue with it becasue of either - a) laziness or b) some sort of arm twisting tactics on behalf of FB, etc which makes logging into the app a complusion.
    Whatever the case maybe, MSFT's reasons for the changes made to the People Hub seem as bad as Nokia's reasons for launching the 'X' line of phones! Not a step forward I'd say..and I am not looking forward to 8.1 all that much anymore. When the playing around with the new features is done with, I may be left with this Android clone of a Lumia 925 that may not need octa cores to run quick enough, but may still make my user experience slower with the constant app opening / switching. Bad decision!
  • Unfortunately the me tile is rendered useless in 8.1. It used to be a quick way to check activity and interact with social networks without having to open an app. I valued that. I see no reason this functionality has to be removed in order for individual apps to be updated regularly. The apps aren't part of the OS. So in WP 8.0 nothing was preventing them from being updated.
    I'm calling BS on the given reason. It makes no sense and I don't know why otherwise sensible people seem to not be the least bit skeptical here.
    I suspect this has more to do with revenue. The social networks don't get ad revenue unless we use their apps to interact with their network. Microsoft wants the popular social networks to commit to updating apps regularly on WP. So a deal was likely struck, whereby Microsoft would force WP users to use the official apps of the networks in exchange for the networks giving WP a boost with regular app updates and feature parity with IOS and Android.
  • "It will allow companies like facebook, twitter LinkedIn to develop apps ..." Yeah, because they have great at development so far
  • Right, if you wanted the "full posting experience" you could just use the full app, oh wait, that is where it sends you now :|
  • I just wish the integration was more native. Like the phone would provide the GUI and the app would only be the data provider/service interface. That way the whole experience would look native (and probably would be very speedy), now it only launches a specific page in an app.
  • I'm excited. I agree this new philosophy is a better way going forward.
  • My live tiles for contacts and groups are extremely shaky in WP8.1. Most Facebook updates never make it to the live tiles. Also, these live tiles only update after unlocking the phone, leaving you waiting, even on wifi. On WP8.1 you're better off doing it the Android/IOS way.
  • It's potentially good, but that's it - potentially.  Unless this results in deep-integration so that I don't have to load an app every. single. time. then it's not an improvement to my former experience. The connect pivot is wholely unnecessary in my opinion.  We have contact cards to see our friends' facebook/twitter feeds in the What's New.  We don't need that pivot.  And we lost the pictures pivot.  Photo Hub used to list what's new from our contacts from FB/Twitter in a social feed, a beautiful pivot, and we had access to all our FB, Twitter, and OneDrive albums right there WITHOUT loading an app.  This is a huge setback in its current implementation. Please vote to restore this: Facebook integration: Photo Hub: Other 8.1 issues: Please vote for as many of these as you agree with.  8.1 is 3 steps forward, 18 steps back.
  • WhatsApp integration in People hub! PLEASEE
  • i cant sync my contacts with the app facebook, any type ? thanks
  • has anyone else lost Twitter Beta? when I turned me phone off and turned it back on the app was blacked out and was no longer to launch it
  • The next most obvious step is to make that Facebook app FASTER!!!!! While the intention behind this implementation is indeed awesome, in practice as of now, it just feels clunkier than before. So, Facebook! Please...
  • honestly? that's pretty cool. i like it very much. looking forward to seeing more apps using this. but what about messages? integrating into the messaging hub would be even more amazing! like before when you were able to change between sms, facebook and livemessenger just by tapping a button... it would be really cool if they would integrate it in another update...  
  • All this sounds good on paper if the Facebook app gets improved. For now so many things that were once easy are broken. Calendar for instance, I loved being able to pull up a facebook event in my calendar and have all the info there + the direct connection with maps. Now I just get a basic headline in calendar that launches the facebook app, which in itself will not show all the info I need. Then don't even get me started on uploading photos to facebook now. The sharing photos section of the facebook app is horrible, takes forever, and cancels if the screen blacks out. The old way was a breeze compared to this. 
  • so finally, which apps are coming under this? is whatsapp and instagram coming?
  • This has potential. But will other Apps use this potential? Opening an app when i hit an update in PeopleHub and PhotoHub, is really not we want. At least i think so.
    We are just hoping for at least integration what we used have on WP8.