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Facebook Chat – Pluses and Deltas

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Recently, facebook.com began allowing users access to a new “chat” feature, reminiscent of gchat. Presented are some initial evaluations of the feature’s implementation.

Δ There should be a way to bring up a person’s profile from their chat window – this feeds directly into primary site content (people’s profiles) and increases advertising revenue as the raw number of impressions per ad would increase correspondingly.

+ Use of a horizontal bar maximizes screen real estate more effectively than gchat

+ Only one conversation can be open at a time -this will be especially useful as what was previously a relatively “passive” social network (in terms of the social aspect) becomes a large center of real-time activity and interaction

Δ Privacy settings seem unclear and are currently uncontrollable – at first it seemed linked to the newsfeed but this appears to not actually be the case (my friend didn’t see that I posted on someone’s wall but did see that I commented on a photo, as per my newsfeed settings, but then I didn’t see her post on someone’s walls although this appeared in her newsfeed )

Δ Lack of settings in general, and fuzzy status as a feature (is it an app?)

Δ Elitist roll-out plan, typical of facebook – first the Ivies, then the major regional networks … but what about everyone else?

Δ Lacking in advanced functionality – why not go the extra mile and allow group chat? Recent history is logged, but is the historical information currently only stored locally? These and many other questions remain unanswered.

+ Drunken “hook ups” in the dorms will have never been easier for college freshman nation/world-wide

Expect updates to this post as facebook chat becomes available to more and more people – specifically to see how scalable that little pale-blue horizontal bar really is.

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Written by generalsam

April 21, 2008 at 12:43 am