Windows 8: The People App Explained

Dennis Faas's picture

"Hi Infopackets,

I recently bought Windows 8 and naturally want to learn more about the new applications that come with it. In particular, I'm a huge fan of social media and would love to find out more about the new People app. Who better to explain it all than you, who have been helping me understand the computer world for half a dozen years.


Mary B."

My response:

Great question, because Windows 8's new People app is one of the more exciting features included in Microsoft's newest operating system.

People App: A Central Hub for Social Media

Basically, the new People app is a social media management system intended to bring together all of your contacts from all of your various social networking outlets -- including Outlook, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, and Twitter. The new People app allows you to interact with all those contacts from one central interface.

When you first launch the People app in Windows 8, you'll be presented with a main screen that offers several basic options: Social, Favorites, and All / Online. Clicking on any of these options will open up a range of new interactive features.

Click on Social, for example, and you'll be able to adjust your online profile, including personal information and picture.

No Need for a Browser

Just as importantly, you can also use Social to draw in contacts and updates from your favorite social media services. You can also post directly to your favorite social networking sites using this section of the People app. That should save you at least the time otherwise required to open a browser and visit each social networking site individually.

To adjust any one social networking site to which you're connected, simply tap the drop-down menu and select the desired service.

Back at the main People screen, you'll also see a Favorites tab. That's where you'll find contacts imported from Microsoft email or instant messaging accounts, including Windows Live Messenger. If you haven't used Microsoft services like Live Messenger in the past, you can still use the People app to create new contact profiles for your friends.

On clicking a contact's picture, you'll view their profile. Then you can send that contact an instant message, email, or even make a phone call to them using Skype (video and standard calls are both supported). You can also see what they've been up to on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.

(Note that you can also use the new People app to more easily adjust your privacy settings, thereby regulating exactly what personal information about you your various contacts can access.)

Again on the main People screen, you can also view All / Online. This quickly lists all your contacts who are currently available online.

That should get you started, Mary!

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