Facebook Chat launches: Built-in IM handy but should be optional

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Did you hear the awesome news? Facebook Chat launched at the weekend for some folks, myself included. Apparently the rollout is on a network-by-network basis, and one of mine, NYU, was a big winner.

You can read how great it is on Facebook itself or any one of the fan sites, but I’ll tell you what about it annoyed me.

First, the implementation, on a UI level, bothers me. The app, which, right now, you cannot opt out off, installs a toolbar along the bottom of your browser window. Cool, more clutter. Thanks.

Also, this really needs to be optional. If I’m on the site up to no good, I don’t want my dumb friends bombarding me with “YO BIG PAPI WHAT R U UP 2?” Always assume I’m not up to anything, thanks.


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The app itself, and the chat interface, isn’t bad at all. Very simple. You double click someone’s name and a Web 2.0-approved window appears. Then you chat. That’s it. If you’re in another tab while someone IMs you, the title on the Facebook tab changes to say, “Hey you’ve got a message,” much like Meebo does.

On the whole, I guess the app is handy. But I do wonder, if you’re really friends with the person, wouldn’t you have their AIM/MSN screen name already?

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