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Facebook Chat

So Facebook FINALLY rolled out Facebook Chat for my network. I’ve played with it for a while and made a few observations:

  • It’s nice to have notifications and online friends down in the bottom bar of the window.
  • It gets annoying having to wait for all of the information (scripts, etc) associated with chat to load, but on a fast enough connection it’s fine.
  • It’s somewhat difficult to change your status, and not a lot of people do it.
  • The premise of Facebook chat is really sound. It’s nice to have all of your friends on the same IM service, without having to collect usernames. You never have the problem of not knowing who somebody is when they message you.
  • The client seems lacking. It seems that the Facebook team put some effort in trying to make it act like less than a full-on desktop application, which would get in the way of using Facebook, but at the same time, it’s too weak for me to truly appreciate. I can imagine getting it integrated into Adium, and having all of my friends pop up in a friend group there. Not only would that be awesome as all hell, but I would probably use it over AIM, if only because more people would be available to me through it.

In the end, I’m surprised by how much I like Facebook Chat. I was expecting it to be another bit of annoying noise in the already crowded IM space. It takes a lot of the likable things about Google Chat (that I don’t get the benefit of because I prefer POP to webmail) but adds some great features, like integration with Facebook status (which should encourage more micro-blogging ala Twitter as people use that status as an IM status), and a great in-browser chat experience. However, for my uses, which center around discrete applications, windows (or even tabs) for different tasks, Facebook chat throws to many things into one tab of the browser. When Adium gets Facebook Chat integration, I’ll be excited.

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