Facebook is set to launch a highly anticipated chat feature in the next 2 weeks to allow for real time communication within the popular social network.
The program will sit at the bottom of the page showing open chat windows and number of friends online. The user can pop out the entire chat interface into a separate window to show online friend lists and current conversations which is similar to Gchat’s Gtalk feature (see screen capture to the right). The users will be able to throw online/offline status easily which is a similar feature to Away Messages in AIM. Users will also be able to clear their chat history and they “online” status will appear throughout the site.
All-in-all it’s a major upgrade for Facebook but let the backlash begin from users who feel Facebook is pushing the instant communication envelope too far.