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Facebook ventures into Instant Messaging

Facebook have officially entered into the IM (Instant Messaging) space as of today. Here’s my initial thoughts…

Facebook logoFacebook have officially entered into the IM (Instant Messaging) space as of today. Here’s my initial thoughts…

Facebook-tool-barTheir chat client is built right into their website as a tool bar strip at the bottom of the users Home page. Facebook message updateBecause it looks very similar to the tool bar on Windows, it’s an extremely familiar piece of UI (User Interface), which many will find welcoming.

There’s a chance Facebook could commit megadeath across a huge swathe of the chat client market. Consider the implications for Google’s chat client GTalk, as well as many others.

Now that Facebook is offering IM, there’s one less reason to have one more application running, when most of your friends are already on Facebook to begin with.

That said, in terms of features, Facebook’s chat doesn’t compete with the likes of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger. However, some of MSN’s features are just plain annoying.

Facebook Online FriendsSo far, there’s been mixed reviews, although some are warming to the idea of IM right inside Facebook. I imagine that with such a general release, there’s going to be a ton of chat traffic thundering through people’s profiles, mostly confusing or annoying those signing in first thing, unaware of this new feature / tool.

I’m confident the new chat client will alleviate a lot of the bandwidth issues for Facebook; consider the amount of bandwidth and computer resources that are being chewed up every time someone sends a message, for example.

Also, the chat client tool bar offers the option to see who’s on-line, which will also save on needless page views.

Facebook chat windowThere’s also a pop-up windowed version of the chat client, which will be a welcome option for a lot of people who like to segregate their various Internet-related activities.

Might we see a new wave of corporate policies specifically banning Facebook use during work time? Maybe there’s a case for Facebook working with corporate policy makers?

For many businesses, Social Networks like Facebook offer unique challenges to corporate policies.

Facebook could offer options to allow business to hook the Facebook profiles of staff members into their corporate networks, creating Friends Lists — which are essentially groups of friends.

These groups could be divided between work and personal, where certain groups of friends can be blocked or limited during working hours.

As I said, these are initial thoughts, so feel free to add your own.

BTW, which is your favourite Social Network? Vote now…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

3 replies on “Facebook ventures into Instant Messaging”

I check Facebook maybe once a week. I really don’t get why you’d be “on it” all day. Just like I’m not on any other websites “all day”. Nope, trillian (my IM of choice) is quite safe.

Hi, and thanks for the comment!

Depends on what you’re doing with Facebook. I and a lot of other people I know use it for business as much if not more than for personal reasons.

So myself and those like me are on Facebook for large portions of the day…

You helped me figure this one out today! : ] So far I like using it. I’m on Facebook all the time — and now I’m sure I’ll be on there even more. Thanks & hope the rest of your week is good!

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