Facebook launches instant messaging

Good news timewasters! You can now IM all your Facebook buddies This week sees the release of another new Facebook toy for us to while away

Good news timewasters! You can now IM all your Facebook buddies

This week sees the release of another new Facebook toy for us to while away those hours until hometime. Facebook Chat will bring to together your Facebook buddies and allow you to IM them. It's the first official Facebook-wide IM release that's not a third-party app.

Just like most IM clients, you'll be able to see who's ready to chat in a pop-up window, but you won't need to build a friend list, as they're already in your Face-y B account. The bottom right of any page will include an "Online Friends" button with a list of mates that can come out to play in real time.

It's one-on-one for now, but the Chat window will also include Mini-Feed stories about your buddy.

Given that Facebook has 69 million active users and that this service will offer a bit more of the "friend experience" than your standard IM client, I forsee that this might just be the perfect way to fill in those "downtime" moments at work.

And if your an IM fanatic, but can't be bothered changing IM accounts or juggling lots of windows, you could always try a multiprotocol app such as Pidgin that lets you use the lot together.