Facebook Announces Live Chat for Applications

Today Facebook is announcing the launch of live chat integration for Facebook applications. It’s a simple integration but it could prove to be powerful for real-time applications. According to Facebook, “With the new fb:chat-invite tag, you can display a list of a user’s online friends and allow the user to invite a friend to chat. Like with the multi-friend selector, you can customize which friends should / shouldn’t appear in this list using the exclude-ids parameter.”

What this doesn’t provide is real-time chat with the application developers. Instead, it’s a way for applications to initiate chat among a user’s friends to encourage them to participate in whatever activity the application is encouraging. We’ve included a screenshot of the integration below which is from Playfish’s extremely popular Pet Society application.

Currently this feature is limited to those applications which use standard FBML but an XFBML/iframe version will soon be available. If you have an iFrame application you can currently wrap the tag in some FBJS code and it should work appropriately. Rather than using the traditional invitation functionality, you can now prompt users to invite their friends via chat.

For more details check out the fb:chat-invite wiki page.

Pet Society Integration

Live Chat Invite Demo

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