by Brian Solis
On April 6th, Facebook quietly started to roll out its new chat application to certain market demographics. As the system scaled, the deployment expanded. As of today, Facebook Chat is available to almost 100% of the network.
I received access about a week ago and it has already completely modified the way I use Facebook. Originally, Facebook was a central hub for aggregating my online brand via a digital portfolio, as well as connecting me, my thoughts and ideas, as and the thoughts, activity, and ideas of my social graph. It was also a destination for me that I would hit when prompted or through necessity. For example, if I had a email to respond to, content or updates I needed to share, events I was planning or attending, people I needed to reach, or new widgets worth experimenting with.
Now with Chat, it’s starting to feel like a desktop or an OS where I can remain active throughout the day. Combined with a pretty effective 1:1 email messaging system, I can stay connected in real time. However, one point of caution, as we all suffer from distractions and fragmented attention, the more friends you have on Facebook directly relates to the volume of chats you’ll receive while you’re online.
Good news…Facebook Chat allows you to control your settings so you can dictate when people see you online. You also include Mini-Feed stories in your “online friends” window which is a nice addition.
All in all, I think Facebook Chat is a simple and elegant application that enhances the Facebook experience and also increases the engagement time of users within the network.