You’d think video chat via its new Skype integration was the only thing Facebook introduced day. But it’s not, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t ignoring the other element of Facebook Chat. Today Facebook introduced Group Chat and a redesign for the chat application altogether.
Zuckerberg says that Groups has been a big hit with Facebook users, and that the feature has helped carve out some intimate, niche space (the average Group has seven people) in the vast sea of what is now 750 million users. The chat function that has been a part of Groups has also been insanely popular, and Facebook is taking this to heart by finally introducing what has been one of its most requested products: Group Chat. Your chat box will soon feature an icon to add multiple users, and should be available this Wednesday. Online users will obviously be looped into the chat box, whereas those who are offline will be messaged the conversation for later reading. It will not be available for Video Calling…yet.
While multi-person chat has long been on Facebook’s to-do list, your chat bar is getting a few subtle tweaks as well. A new sidebar displaying the contacts you most often chat with will now appear, and will adjust to the size of your browsers automatically. It pops up on its own once the window is wide enough and stays there. Zuckerberg admitted that while it’s been one of the world’s most popular chat clients (if not the most popular) for awhile, Facebook hasn’t made the application as user friendly as it could and that these adjustments address that.