With Windows 8, Microsoft is bringing its integrated, Metro-style experiences from Windows Phone to traditional PCs and new computing devices. Integration means many things, but one of the big benefits is that you no longer need special apps to perform individual tasks. So rather than interact with Facebook using a Facebook app, and access Twitter from a Twitter app, you can do both—and more—using a single, integrated Windows 8 experience.

This integrated experience is a built-in app called People. It provides the functionality from three separate user experiences on Windows Phone—the People hub, which provides contacts management and access to your friends’ online activities, the Me tile, a front-end to your own online profile and notifications, and the What’s new feed in the Pictures hub. As such, the People app is a pretty full-featured solution.

people

But let’s just focus on social networking services, and how we might access them from this interface.

Posting to Facebook or Twitter

To make a new Facebook post or Twitter tweet, just navigate to Me from the default view, select the service you want to use from the drop-down, and type your post. Simple.

post

View notifications

To see comments people have made to your posts from various online services, click View notifications in the default view. This will display a nice Notifications screen. (And its interactive, so you can respond, as noted below.)

nots

See what’s new

To see what your friends have posted on Facebook or Twitter, click What’s new from the default view. This, too, displays a gorgeous (and interactive) full-screen experience detailing their activities.

whatsnew

Respond to others

To comment or respond on a post, simply display it in People and then use the onscreen controls, some of which will be specific to the service used for the post. For example, with a Twitter tweet, you can “retweet,” and with a Facebook post, you can “Like” it.

respond

Share

Finally, People works with the Share contract in Windows 8, so if you find something fun you want to share in some other app—like a cool web page in Internet Explorer—you can share it from there, without needing to remember which app to use. It just pops up for you.

share