General features of Facebook
See also: Facebook Messenger
On April 5, 2008, Facebook pre-released Facebook Chat. As of April 23, 2008, Facebook Chat was released to the entire Facebook user base. Users may chat with their Facebook friends on a one-to-one basis, or a user may chat with multiple friends simultaneously through the groups feature. Instant messaging clients that currently support Facebook Chat include Yahoo! Messenger version 11.0 and later, Skype version 5 or later, AOL Instant Messenger, eBuddy, Flock, Miranda IM, Trillian, Empathy, Pidgin, Adium, FIM (Windows Mobile / Windows Phone 7), Palringo (Windows Mobile), Meebo, Tokbox as well as QIP Infium with a Firefox plugin. Windows Live Messenger 2011 (Wave 4) can connect to Facebook as well. Facebook Chat can also be run on the desktop using Gabtastik, a dedicated web chat browser. Facebook Chat can also be run on the iPhone using Facebook Chat for iPhone app. Facebook also released the official app for iPad. Facebook chat is also available to use for Blackberry users via the Blackberry Facebook app. On May 13, 2008, a Facebook developer announced that they are working on XMPP support, allowing hundreds of instant messaging clients to interoperate with the service; this functionality became operational on February 10, 2010. In November 2010, Facebook released a major upgrade of its Messages feature, which merged Chat and E-mail into the Inbox. However, users can still only chat with friends and group members.
As of August 2011, Facebook Chat supports video chat. Upon using the feature for the first time users must download a plug-in for their web browser.
Facebook Messenger was released for various mobile operating systems in August 2011 and for Windows 7 in December (an "official" release was made available for Windows 7 on March 5, 2012).
Since April 2011 Facebook users have had the ability to make live voice calls via Facebook Chat, allowing users to chat with...