All Facebook users around the world can now use the social networking site’s integrated IM (instant messaging) chat application, which the site made available without so much as an official announcement.
While Facebook Chat initially began rolling out on 6 April, it was largely only available in parts of the US. However, it slowly began appearing in other countries over the past few weeks and was introduced across the entire network as of today.
The chat function appears as a bar on the bottom of the screen and indicates to users when someone in their friends network is online but gives the option of appearing offline if needed.
The chat bar also displays the user’s status message, as well as recently received notifications. Facebook said it is working on integrating other site features into the real-time chat application in the near future.
Josh Weisman, senior engineering team member at Facebook, said user privacy has been taken into account while developing the application.
“Conversations are one-to-one, completely private and only between Facebook friends. The message history is saved from page to page, and even between log-in sessions, but it is not logged permanently.
“Should you wish to clear out the history immediately, there’s a link provided in each conversation to do so.”
By Marie Boran