The folks over at Facebook sure do know how to do things right (most of the time). One of the best things they ever did in terms of helping their growth was to launch Facebook Apps – it’s been a HUGE success for them. More recently, their decision to launch their own Facebook Chat was an interesting one and could prove to be beneficial by luring users to stay a little longer on the site to chat with their friends. It could also give users yet another reason to check back-in to the site more regularly during the day. More visits = $$$ for Facebook. One of the downsides to Facebook Chat as it stands is that users aren’t able to add it to all-in-one clients like Pidgin. That’s about to change and Facebook Chat is about to get more useful because Facebook Developers have announced that they are building a Jabber/XMPP interface for it.
At the moment, some of you may not realize how big this is but it’s huge. Currently in order to chat with your friends on Facebook, most people have to have their browser open and be logged in to Facebook unless they’re using Digsby (PC) or Adium (Mac), both of which have added Facebook Chat support already. This makes it a bit restrictive and could keep some people from using it. Once Jabber Support has been added, it opens up multiple doors by allowing developers to integrate chat into their applications with no hassle. One likely reason they’re announcing this before they even have it ready is so developers can start figuring out how they want to integrate chat into their apps. On the Facebook Developers blog they say, “we wanted to give you a heads up so you can start thinking about (or even start building) Chat into your applications.”
For Meebo users, it means they too would be able to chat with their Facebook friends. Meebo for a while has allowed users to login to any Jabber service. It also means cross-network messengers like Pidgin who wouldn’t necessarily take the time to integrate Facebook chat, would be able to support it because they do support Jabber. No additional configuration would be needed. Once Facebook Chat is more accessible, more people will be willing to use it which can only help Facebook grow in the end.
Thanks for the tip Curtiss!
Source: Inside Facebook