Facebook Chat’s integration with AOL’s AIM was not a one off event, rather a part of something bigger. As of today, Facebook Chat is now available “everywhere” (including desktop apps). In order to accomplish that Facebook has implemented the Jabber XMPP protocol, which is an open messaging protocol that is supported by most instant messaging softwares, including iChat, Pidgin, Adium, Miranda – and yes Google Talk also supports the same Jabber XMPP protocol.
So all users need to do now is to integrate Facebook Chat with any of their preferred instant messaging desktop client, and start using Facebook Chat right from your desktop. Doing so is simple and painstakingly easy, all you need to do is to connect your Facebook account with the instant messaging client that you are using – and that’s it, you are good to go.
The one thing that needs to be mentioned here is that you wont be able to create separate Friend’s List from your desktop client. If you want to do so, you would have to go to Facebook.com. Although I would have love to have the ability to create separate lists right from the client, I would be happy with what I am getting at the moment.
Some additional features that would make me jump include the ability to change my status on Facebook right from my Desktop Client, upload photos from the desktop client to my profile, comment on the status messages of my friends from my client and other such niceties.
I don’t know if all these additional features could be supported by every desktop client out their in the wild, or if that’s possible with the XMPP protocol at all. But as far, as I am concerned – I just want a fully functional desktop client to help me keep up with my social life on Facebook.
Facebook has also built the support for Facebook Chat into Facebook Connect, so developers who want to build chat experiences into their blogs, websites etc could do so.
All in all this is one giant assault by Facebook to reach the desktop of millions of Facebook users.