At long last, after promises to open up Facebook chat to Jabber clients, it’s up and going. Finally! No more crappy plugins for Pidgin and Adium that stop working randomly. No more leaving a browser window up and connected to Facebook either. It’s working quite well, so far at least. Interested? Head over there and they’ll walk you through the process.
What brought this about? Facebook has started opening up and federating their IM system with other networks. First up is AIM. That’s right, AIM users can now chat with Facebook Chat users. Since Facebook wisely chose the open XMPP (eXtensible Messaging & Presence Protocol) for this, which allows easy federation (i.e. interoperability) with other IM services, including the greater Jabber/XMPP community, which includes Google Talk, both in its standard and “Apps for Your Domain” flavors.
Here’s the gist, tell your Jabber client (they give precise instructions for Pidgin, Adium and iChat) to connect as email@example.com and you’re all set. For other Jabber clients, check out the link above for any particulars on the connection parameters.
One thing that they did not do, and it’s a bit irksome – no SSL/TLS support. Come on kids, we’re in the 21st century here, let’s get with the program a bit. After all, the standard login.facebook.com page uses SSL, so why not this too?
So overall, it’s great news, but they’ve still got a bit of work to do.