Users of Facebook know that it has a chat client which allows them to instantly message their Facebook friends when logged in. Until recently, that service was limited to just Facebook, preventing users from communicating with their Facebook friends when using other instant messaging clients (AIM, etc.) — unless those friends were already included in the user’s buddy list.
Some time ago, Facebook announced plans to link Facebook chat?s compatibility with XMPP-Jabber, the chat protocol implemented for Google Talk. Doing so would make Facebook Chat available for use with any IM client. After those plans were announced, Google never elaborated upon its development, leaving many to suspect the plans were scuttled.
However, just yesterday, Facebook announced the development of the chat client had been completed. With this available, users now have the option of using Facebook chat with any instant messaging client of their choice.
For those already using a multi-protocol client, configuration for use of this new feature is simple. All you need do is add a new Jabber or XMPP account, with the username following the email@example.com model. Your password will be the same one you use for Facebook. For those who have not yet created a Facebook username, you?ll have to visit your settings page to create one.
After setup is complete, your Facebook friends will appear in your buddy list, becoming immediately available for chat sessions. Initially, it might prove a little confusing, as those Facebook friends who aren?t included on a friends list will appear in your instant messaging client?s buddy list. Without being automatically sorted, you?ll have to organize your friends by creating separate buddy lists. Though this might seem somewhat aggravating, it?s merely an additional step for those of you who absolutely need your friends organized in distinct groups.
This new service includes everything from your Facebook chat client, including profile thumbs and the ability to set your status as idle. Being new, the discovery of glitches are inevitable. Feel free to share them with us.
Social networking is all the craze, and this is just another means of staying tuned in to what your friends are up to.
You can read about the new Facebook Chat feature here.