Facebook will announce momentarily via their developer blog support of Facebook chat via Jabber and XMPP. These are two of the primary standards for instant messaging protocol on the web. The new format will enable developers to integrate chat within their applications both internally and externally to Facebook. This update will also enable developers to update a user’s status via the new protocol.
While a number of instant messaging desktop clients have already figured out a way to access Facebook’s chat system, this will enable anybody to access Facebook chat more efficiently. By providing Jabber/XMPP access to developers, Facebook also hopes to further extend the reach of Facebook as a mainstream instant messaging platform.
This is a great move by Facebook. It helps to emphasize Facebook’s dedication to using open standards to provide access to developers. It will be interesting to see what types of creative applications we see integrate this new chat platform.