Facebook adds chat to apps, foresees adoption jump

Applications created for the Facebook platform can now feature live chat, a capability the company foresees will not only make programs more appealing but also boost their usage and rate of adoption.

Applications created for the Facebook platform can now feature live chat, a capability the company foresees will not only make programs more appealing but also boost their usage and rate of adoption.

Adding Facebook Chat could result in end users interacting more with an application, as well as in making it easier for them to invite their friends to install the application, increasing its user base through word of mouth, according to Facebook.

"There are countless ways applications can integrate this feature. For instance, users can invite friends to start a live game, a couple can plan a trip or their wedding together sharing links, or friends can exchange reviews on music/restaurants/gadgets -- all without leaving your application," wrote Facebook software engineer Yariv Sadan in the company's official blog for developers on Thursday.

Playfish, a developer of games for social networks, plans to incorporate the Facebook live chat feature in the coming weeks, a spokeswoman for Facebook said via e-mail.

In an interview last month, Dave Morin, Facebook's senior platform manager, said the company this year will make it easier for members to discover applications that are relevant and useful to them.

Facebook opened up its Web site in May 2007 so that external developers could create applications for it, thus enhancing the appeal of the social network for end users and giving developers a chance to generate revenue from advertising and other methods.

Currently, there are more than 52,000 applications available to Facebook members. "We're doing lots of testing around giving users more ways to discover applications that their friends are interacting with, so you'll see some of that work come out this year," Morin said at the time.

Facebook members browse a directory for applications, or search for them using the site's search engine, while developers in turn can promote their applications by buying ads on the site. Facebook wants to improve on these methods of finding and promoting applications.

Last year, when Facebook rolled out a major redesign of member profiles' layout, some developers complained, arguing that the changes robbed applications of visibility. Facebook's position is that the opposite is true.

In their eagerness to promote their Facebook applications and help then stand out from the crowd, some developers have resorted to deceitful practices to get members to install them, resulting in spam and other annoyances. Facebook has regularly taken policy and technical steps to curb these practices, but it remains to be seen if some developers will find ways to misuse this new live chat capability to aggressively promote their applications.

Asked about this potential problem, the Facebook spokeswoman said via e-mail that all of Facebook's standard terms and policies, including authenticity of communications and no incentives, apply to applications that use the chat feature.

In addition, users can only initiate a conversation with one friend at a time and can only send messages via chat to their friends who are listed as being online, she wrote.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social networksFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?