Save time social networking with Internet Explorer 8(Dougal Water, Iconica)

Social networking is one of the great success stories of the internet, and it's only going to get bigger.

Millions of us now use sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep up with old friends, make new ones and share our thoughts and opinions with the online community (or at least tell hundreds of strangers we're about to make a cup of tea!).

The problem is, as social networking becomes more popular and more important in our lives, so it becomes more time-consuming.

Checking all those social networking sites can mean less time for everything else we have to do, whether that's work, study or spending (real) time with family and friends.

Christmas instant win competition with Internet Explorer 8

What would be ideal, then, is a way to keep tabs on your online community, without it intruding too much into other areas of your life - something that tends to make the 'boss' (whether the one at work or the one at home) very unhappy indeed.

Luckily, Internet Explorer 8 optimised for MSN makes accessing all your social networking sites quick, easy and entirely hassle-free.

Quite simply, Internet Explorer 8 lets you gather all your social media in one place, so you're only ever a quick click away.

And thanks to ingenious little widgets called add-ons, Web Slices and Accelerators, you can interact with Facebook, MySpace and Twitter (or whatever it might be) right from your browser, rather than having to go to the sites themselves and do everything from there.

Take, for example, the Twitter Search tool bar. It takes a second or two to download and install, and lets you check your Twitter stats, post your updates and access all sorts of Twitter tools, all from Internet Explorer 8.

Wherever you might be on the web, your Twitter account is right there with you.

Internet Explorer 8 for MSN: Get it now, free

Internet Explorer 8 for MSN: Get it now, free(Robert Johnson, OJO Images RM)

And it's the same with Facebook and MySpace. Dedicated toolbars mean you can navigate the social networking maze, update your status and see what friends and contacts are up to from anywhere on the internet.

Accelerators, meanwhile, make your social networking activities quicker and simpler. Quite simply, Accelerators mean you can ditch unnecessary clicks and make browsing faster.

Add the Facebook Accelerator and quickly connect with friends, workmates and others, even while you're busy in another part of the net. Share interesting things instantly and find people or groups in seconds.

Christmas instant win competition with Internet Explorer 8

It's not just social networking. Internet Explorer 8 is also great with social media sites. The YouTube Toolbar lets you play videos straight from your browser. It even gives you instant access to 'most played' lists as well as your own uploaded videos, and will alert you to new videos from your subscribed users.

There are plenty of others. Yoono, for example, allows you to update your status across Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and more, all at the same time (think how much time that could save!). The LinkedIn Accelerator, on the other hand, lets you lookup potential clients, service providers, experts and partners in nothing more than a couple of clicks.

There's also an Accelerator for Orkut - it lets you search for friends just by highlighting text in a webpage - and the Gatherer toolbar handily grabs all your social and webmail accounts and puts them in one place - the browser sidebar.

We could go on. But what should be clear already is that Internet Explorer 8 lets you enjoy social networking to the full, while also giving you extra time for all the other things you have to do. It really does mean that you can have the best of both worlds. Download it free today and give it a try.

Internet Explorer 8 for MSN: Get it now, free

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