Want in on the Xbox LIVE Facebook, Twitter, Zune Beta?

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Facebook on Xbox 360

Care to tinker with Facebook, Twitter, and Zune on your Xbox 360 before everyone else? Writes Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, the company's now accepting applications for its Xbox LIVE Update Preview with "upcoming features such as Zune, Facebook, and Twitter." All you need to do is drop by the Microsoft Connect site, sign up with a Windows LIVE id that's linked to your Xbox LIVE Gamertag, and enter your 12-digit console identification number.

Microsofts looking for several thousand participants, which sounds like a lot, but really isn't, given the public enthusiasm for this particular update--that, and the preview's open to all regions where Xbox LIVE is available. Don't wait to plug in your contact info and muscle through the sign-up cross-sectional survey, in other words.

Having an Xbox LIVE Gold account gets you VIP access, though even then, it's down to Microsoft's oracular internal filtering processes who gets a golden email and who's left standing outside the gates peering in. The connect site states it'll review applicants and make selections "based on variables such as region and connection type." Presumably they'll be looking for a broad cross-section of user types.

At least one sharp-eyed gamer replying to Hryb's blog solicitation wonders "What has happened to the Last.FM part of this update that was originally announced?"

What indeed. Last.FM is the UK-based internet radio and music community founded in 2002 with over 30 million active users in more than 200 countries. Will it be in the preview? Hard to say, but it's absence in Hryb's otherwise detailed and specific post seems more than accidental.

Conspiracy theorists at ease--perhaps Last.FM's just not ready for prime time.

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