Facebook Chat is a free instant messaging service that was released in 2008 to Facebook’s entire user base. Users can chat with their friends on an individual basis or with many friends through the group chat features. Instant messaging services that support Facebook Chat include: Yahoo! Messenger, Skype version 5, AIM, Palringo (Windows Mobile), Meebo, Adium, Tokbox, and more
Facebook Chat allows users to use a video chat function. In order to use the video chat function, the user must download a plug-in for their browser. Voice messages are also possible on Facebook Chat. Facebook now integrates Skype for video calling services. This allows one to video call using a Skype Rest API. Facebook also shows who is online for chat and who is offline. If a person is offline and you want to send them a message it will be delivered privately. The message sent includes the time of day or night when it is sent. Facebook also has the added feature that you can see if the recipient has read the message based on a check mark. Facebook also separates who you chat with most frequently with those you don’t on the sidebar, allowing for convenient access. Facebook has also teamed up with Skype in order to provide video calling as a chat feature. It is available in over 70 different languages.
Facebook Chat can be run using the dedicated web chat browser on desktop using Gabtastik. Facebook Chat is available on a wide variety of mobile phones including iPhone using the Facebook Chat application. Facebook chat is also available to use on Blackberry devices.
Security / Archiving
Facebook chat sessions are stored in user’s private messages. This means that you can go back and reread messages between yourself and another person, but it is not publicly visible (other users cannot see). Facebook has integrated many new security features for chat including archiving. Facebook has had some security blunders in the past, which allowed other people to tap into private messaging sessions with their friends. This bug has since been worked out, with many new security features following. Facebook enables users to choose their own privacy settings regarding who can see what parts of their profile and through blocking individuals all together.
Facebook is very popular, with over 500 million users. Over half of those users log in to Facebook daily.
Facebook Chat is a welcomed feature to Facebook. It allows users to connect with their friends in real-time, rather than waiting on a message response. Many people enjoy using Facebook Chat on their mobile devices for convenient access.