Microsoft has announced it has added a number of new features to Hotmail, including the ability to chat with your Facebook friends through the email service.

Microsoft's Dick Craddock explains the new features in a blog post, noting: "We recently announced that Messenger would let you chat with your Facebook friends.

"We released this into the beta of our Messenger app for your PC a few weeks ago, and last week we added this into Messenger on your iPhone.

"We're now adding this ability to chat with Facebook friends into Hotmail, making it easier for the 250 million Hotmail users that also use Facebook to stay in touch with those friends."

Better pictures

This isn't the only new addition to Hotmail, as Microsoft has also unveiled a new package tracking system for the service which recognise the number and display the real time shipping status when you get an email from a courier.

Currently, this is for the US postal service, but we're hoping it will come to the UK at some point.

Microsoft is also allowing the sending of bulk photos through emails by integrating its SkyDrive service into Hotmail.

Essentially this means you can have up to 10GB of photos sent through in an email.

Finally, it will now let you preview videos that are sent via email. Although you can already do this with YouTube and Hulu clips, this has been extended to stuff from Daily Motion and Justin.tv.

The rollout will happen over the next few weeks, with Craddock noting: "We believe that these features will benefit people using Hotmail with a more efficient email experience that saves time and is just more fun to use."