Facebook to Launch Chat Application

March 19, 2008

Facebook will launch a chat feature as a major upgrade within the next two weeks. It will allow for real-time instant messaging between Facebook members. The design of the new Facebook Chat application will apparently be similar to that of Google Talk, insofar as the user can pop out the chat interface into a separate (sloooowly loading, in the case of Google) window showing a list of online friends and current conversations.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEOFacebook is second only to MySpace in terms of users, but MySpace already has chat rooms and instant messaging via Skype (which is known for its security holes). It’s estimated that Facebook receives at least 30 million unique visitors a month for up to an hour at a time. Four-year-old Facebook, invented by Harvard student dropout billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, was originally intended as a place where high school and college students could hang out without adults. But when registration was opened to the public in September 2006, site traffic grew by more than 80 percent, with the youth demographic accounting for less than one-third of growth. Office workers are the fastest-growing demographic, a fact which has proved annoying to their employers.

Social Networking at FacebookPersonally, Pajamadeen has no need for another online chat application. She already has Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, MSN’s Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. How many of these does a person need, anyway? Pajamadeen leaves all of them turned off, for the most part. She can’t get anything done when instant messaging is on, as she seems to have some very talkative friends. If you tell them you’re busy, they get mad. (Invariably, the chat requests come while one is coding a web page, doing a backup, etc. It’s like some perverse kind of radar.) So it’s simpler to just not go there. We’re not sure that we see a need for yet another instant messenger program but, given the number of Facebook users, the new chat application should prove popular for people with way too much time on their hands.

Do you use instant messaging services, or do you find them annoying? Pajamadeen would like to think that she’s not the only person who doesn’t have time for this!

Read more computer news, about Chinese-made computer accessories which have been sold in the United States and which contain identity theft programs. We know you’ll be delighted to hear this.

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