Facebook’s “Kitchen Sink” Social Toolbar Not Out Yet, But Coming Soon

One widely expected component of Facebook’s new plugins didn’t launch with the 5 others yesterday. Instead, the so-called “Social Bar” will be available “in the coming weeks,” Facebook tells us today.

The bar, which Facebook director of product Bret Tayler described as the “kitchen sink of social plugins” at f8 yesterday, includes essential Facebook features: likes, the activity stream, and Facebook chat. From the presentation:

Because of its form factor, it will pretty much work on any web site. It docks to the bottom of the screen under almost any UI. If you’re looking to socially enable your site but don’t know where to put all the buttons? Use the social bar to socially enable your site with one line of HTML.

This is somewhat similar to the persistent bar that Facebook removed from its site with the new home page redesign in February, except that bar had third-party applications. Check out the blurry screenshot that we grabbed from the presentation video to see how it looks.

News first leaked out about the Facebook social bar at the end of last month. It’s not clear why there’s a delay on this plugin versus the others. Meanwhile, a range of other companies, led by Meebo, launched their own version of a social bar earlier this week. Meebo has actually offered a similar social toolbar since 2008, that lets people chat across IM platforms, and share information. Earlier this month, it partnered with Google and a range of other companies to let users access those sites from the bar, too. Facebook and Twitter aren’t participating with the new product, based on the new “XAuth” standard. Facebook will shortly begin competing directly against it.