Facebook Chat opens in beta to lucky few, offers a "compelling experience" apparently

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Facebook Chat launched on Saturday to a few select networks, in the ubiquitous ‘beta’ mode. So far so good, with the lucky few who’ve been trialling it reporting “it’s a great implementation”.

A permanent, unhideable Chat bar appears on the bottom of every page on Facebook, which shows your various IM conversations, notifications and online contacts. Whilst the default setting for conversations is within your Facebook window, you can minimise it, or open a new tab for that chat. Status updates are also integrated into the Chat window, plus your contact’s actions – so if the friend you’re talking to writes on your wall, or uploads photos etc, you’re notified in the IM window.

Never fear, misanthropic Facebookers, you can choose to ‘Go Offline’ by the sounds of things, even if you have Facebook open. It’s a smart move by Zuckerberg and co., which should see usage soar sky-high, along with actual session length.

I wonder what investor Microsoft thinks of the app, keeping in mind their MSN Messenger service is one of the most popular IM programs in the world?

(via Inside Facebook)

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Katherine Hannaford

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