Facebook Launches Instant Messenger Service

Facebook officially unveiled their much hyped chat service today.

The social networking giant flicked the switch on the service which allows users of Facebook to message their friends quickly and efficiently from any page in Facebook. After a user agrees to go online they are greeted with their friends list in a pop up form on within an integrated version at the bottom of Facebook pages. Interestingly the connection doesn't appear to be SSL so it might be possible for bad guys to sniff any conversations with your friends.

Facebook is in the middle of a re-design aimed to promote aggregation for users personally. In a message to Facebook users the company says "As you have seen in our screen shots, the 'Wall' tab of your profile has a new emphasis on recent activity. We think this is the information that your friends care the most about, and the information that will recap what you have been up to lately. This change shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable, and to ensure this we will be giving you control over what information is displayed about you. What's really important is that you have a say in what information is being shared about you, and in turn, your friends have an easy way to see it."

It's not clear how big corporations and businesses will deal with the new chat service as it's so well integrated it may not be an easy task to block without blocking the whole of Facebook.

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26 Comments

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It looks really great for now. I wish they could still change few things but I guess it will all come along. It's very much like Gmail+chat. And I use that very often, so I like the whole idea

I've been using this quite a bit today while I was on Facebook. Kind of handy actually.
When I first read this article and didn't use it, I thought it was a stand-alone kind of IM (like MSN, etc), but now I know it's just one that runs inside the site. Quite handy, so if you want to message someone online they get it right away

I think it's a cool concept, but all of my friends are...well, they aren't like us. They don't catch on to these type things right away and kind of ignore them. In fact, most of them complain every time FaceBook changes something. I love the idea, it just sucks that I'll probably never get to use it

lol

I've been using this for weeks now :P
It's been out in beta for select schools for a while. It's pretty damn intuitive and works with the site very well.

-Spenser

we need a single IM gateway for all IM protcols, so i use icq can talk with msn, and stuff like that. Communications in inet its getting so complicated

First thing I did was turn it offline. Just because I'm on the net doesn't mean I want to chat to people, especially half my facebook contacts. Hopefully they include an option to uninstall in the near future.

true. i'm sure if someone did a survey, they would find that people on average have 3 times as many facebook contacts as they do for any IM.

This was something missing from the site so I'm glad it's finally been added.
I have loads of people on my facebook but only a few on Messenger.
Facebook is meant to be a social place so why not say a quick hello with an old school friend without the hassle of installing the relevant IM client or adding them as a permanent IM contact. I have also had problems getting friends and family to use an IM client but they all seem to love facebook.

Facebook has great ideas. I'm sure the various privacy options will come as well as being able to turn it off altogether. I'm pleased to see that it converts various smilies into emoticons! ;-)

oh **** off lamebook, I've already got people on AIM, IRC and MSN and I really can't be the slightest bit arsed to have another useless bloody account for my email to get spammed with. Why couldn't someone have just nicked all the facebook code and screwed the site up, god its such a crap site and everyone raves about it, idiots

(n_K said @ #4)
oh **** off lamebook, I've already got people on AIM, IRC and MSN and I really can't be the slightest bit arsed to have another useless bloody account for my email to get spammed with. Why couldn't someone have just nicked all the facebook code and screwed the site up, god its such a crap site and everyone raves about it, idiots

Tell us how you really feel! :P Facebook is a bit too boring for me. I'd rather go outside and mow the grass.

It's not clear how big corporations and businesses will deal with the new chat service as it's so well integrated it may not be an easy task to block without blocking the whole of Facebook.

I've not yet worked at a company that didn't block facebook.

Nice concept, it's quite cool if you know someone's online, but I don't see it replacing WLM/AIM/YIM etc any time soon.

Exactly, Facebook should NEVER be allowed on a corporate network....or myspace, bebo, etc....

They're all a waste of your life anyway..

Much like fuggin SOAPS (eastenders, CoraNogga etc...GAH!

I think its great, tried it out with a friend of mine this morning

Facebook really have got the whole site design and functionality knocked right on the head....

they are the gods of web development!

kicks myspace's a*se any day!