Posted April 7, 2008 1:39 pm by with 6 comments

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Facebook’s 67 million users can now instant message each other – or at least some of us can. The new feature is being integrated gradually.

The IM service is an in-browser client, and you can chat with your Facebook friends that are logged in. So far it doesn’t support external IM services, like Yahoo or MSN Messenger.

The way the launched IM reminds me of how my college grounds department cut down trees on campus – on the weekend. Why? So botany professors or tree lovers wouldn’t notice. It’s been suspected that Facebook is taking a similar tack by releasing the feature when not as many people will notice.

Facebook has been criticized for being slow and unreliable, and seemed to take this launch cautiously. The IM feature was started yesterday, on a Sunday afternoon. The thinking perhaps being that highly critical bloggers wouldn’t be so relentless. We were more likely to be offline than blogging. Or perhaps to reduce the load of people trying out the service at one time.

By adding IM to the site, people will probably stay on the site longer and perhaps visit the site more often. Advertisers like that because you’ll have more chances to see their ads. However, your boss may not be as approving. Not only is it easy to waste a lot of time chatting online while you’re at work, your employer is vulnerable to legal issues.

I just checked and I don’t have IM on my Facebook profile yet – do you?

  • Yep, just checked my profile- no IM ability yet. I wonder if it’s an application I’ll need to add. Is anyone else wondering if Facebook is becoming MySpace without the crazy themes and ugly basic platform?

  • Nice move, I’m sure it’ll be a nice addition –

    They’ll be able to sell advertisement space at the bottom of the messenger like live messenger does (if they want to?)

  • yeah, I don’t have IM either. Honestly, with the way people check their facebook like every 3 min, and writing on their wall to wall… Their is no need for IM’s.

  • This almost sounds like the messenger that Google has built in with Gmail. If you happen to be logged in when someone else on your email list is logged in, then you can chat…pretty simple really. However, Google has been moving into the “everything” realm for a while, so I see it perfectly natural for them to move into messaging, along with documents, email, world domination, etc. Facebook on the other hand, I never really thought of them as glomming for more of you day…I thought they already owned most of everyone’s days as it is. 😉

  • PS3

    Yeah, I’ve used Gmail for a while now. It has a tiny interface that I don’t like but useful for chatting to people who wont entertain Yahoo or MSN.

  • Sounds like a cool feature. Gotta check it out!