I used to work in the UK MSN Messenger team way back in the day so I have an interest to claim here, but I am loving Windows Live Messenger at the moment – specifically its Facebook chat functionality. Prompted by this post outlining how Messenger powers over 2.8 billion minutes of Facebook chat, it brought back some IM loving.
About 15 years ago it was all ICQ, then it was MSN or Yahoo!, now it’s a combination of Facebook, chatting from your inbox in Hotmail or Gmail, or just texting from phone to phone. In a corporate environment the enterprise IM solution is more a way of seeing who’s online or in a meeting – or acting as the bridge for VoIP/video calls. But if you think about user behaviour of staying logged into an IM client throughout the day, it makes sense to use that screentime as a snapshot of “what’s going on with my friends or family – regardless of whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace or other…”
Personally I’m not a fan of IMing from a web service: it’s slow, cumbersome and far too feature-restrained. But what I do love is being able to see when my Facebook friends are online – and chatting with them from my Messenger UI.