Always read the fine print. Part of a footnote from this morning's Xbox 360 price cut press release bore this little oh-by-the-way: "Xbox Live Gold Membership will be required for Twitter and Facebook when they are available." When MCV followed up on the tucked-away tidbit, a Microsoft spokesperson suggested that the press release's statement was "inaccurate" and that the company was "still formulating its plans" for integrating the social networking services into Xbox Live. A few short hours later, those plans appear to be formulated.
A Microsoft representative has clarified for Joystiq, "Facebook and Twitter on Xbox Live will be free to Gold members, with a free trial period also available for Silver members." Specific details on what's included in the trial are not currently available, but clearly Microsoft is continuing its policy to reward Gold subscribers for, well, their subscriptions, despite what must be a tempting motivation to make Twitter and Facebook free-for-all features. Social networking's the killer app, after all (right?) -- and Microsoft could use some new ammo in the console war.