Outlook on the web borrows Facebook's Like and Twitter's @mention

Microsoft is giving Outlook on the web a couple of familiar social media-flavored features. First, it's adding a thumbs up on every email, which you can click on the reading pane. That gives you a way to publicly "Like" or show ideas support, particularly for school/work group messages -- if someone else likes the email you sent, you'll get a notification. The other one is obviously inspired by Twitter's @mentions: when you want to call someone's attention in the body of an email, simply type @ to open up your directory and list of frequent contacts. If the person wasn't originally in the group message, his email address will automatically be added in the To: box.

You can enjoy both features soon if you have an Office 365 commercial subscription that comes with Outlook on the web. Office 365 First Release customers will get the Like feature sometime today and @mentions by mid-October. Everybody else, on the other hand, will have to wait until late October to see a thumbs up icon in their emails and until mid-November to @mention somebody in a group message.