How to set up iChat for Facebook

Tonight it was announced that Facebook chat now supports XMPP (also known as Jabber). This means that it will work with a host of chat clients, including my personal favourite iChat.

To get it working with iChat you simply follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to iChat > Preferences > Accounts
  2. Click the plus icon in the bottom left hand corner, to add a new account
  3. Select Jabber as the Account Type
  4. Enter username@chat.facebook.com in the Account Name (where username is your facebook username).
  5. Enter your facebook password in the password box.

And that’s it!

Facebook has some instructions on how to set up other popular clients here.

Facebook Virus – Super Potent Legal Bud

In the past 24 hours, 2 of my facebook friends have posted a spam comment on my wall:

“Found some super potent legal bud at http://www.b_bzop.co_ !!”

So it would appear that either their accounts have been hacked, or they have some spy ware on their machine that is hijacking their sessions and posting comments while they browse around the site.

If you think your facebook account might have been hacked, then you should change your password to a more secure one, and run a virus checker on your machine!

Google assembles army against Microsoft-Facebook alliance

Earlier this week Techcrunch revealed that Google were about to launch a new social network project called OpenSocial. Rather than push out yet another social platform, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) have decided to stick to their strengths and core mission, that is; to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Open Social Homepage

With OpenSocial they are building a set of common APIs that will allow developers to create applications that will work with any social network. I think this is a killer move, as it will mean that Google is involved no matter which social networks are the current fad, just like Google is involved in search no matter which websites you end up visiting.

Developers are likely sign up on mass to this new utility (just as they have with Google Maps) as it means their applications will be available to all networks without them having to write specific code for each one, and they can code in standard Javascript/HTML rather than having to learn another markup language such as FBML.

As of yesterday, OpenSocial received backing from MySpace, adding to e Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle who have all also said they will participate. Given that Facebook’s API was one of it’s key advantages over MySpace, suddenly Microsoft’s investment seems even more expensive.

Microsoft pays a premium to get some Facebook

OK so this is old news now, but it just dawned on me how much Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) paid for a bit of the Facebook pie. First, let’s put things into perspective:

Investor Site Unique visitors
(GigaOM Sep 2007)
Traffic Growth
On previous month
Purchase
Price
News Corp MySpace 68,449,000 +0.1% $580 million
Google YouTube 47,486,000 +5.8% $1.65 billion
Microsoft Facebook 30,601,000 -9.3% $15 billion
($240 million for 1.6%)

These figures are from Comscore, and I believe they cover US traffic only, yet they illustrate the sort of value that Microsoft got when compared to other similar acquisitions by News Corp and Google.

Facebook is definitely growing faster in some places such as the UK where it is now nearly the size of MySpace, however I think a lot of that growth could be from the novelty factor; when you first sign up you’re addicted for a few weeks whilst you add all your old school friends, but then the novelty wears off. Personally, I used Facebook a lot more initially and now that has tapered off such that I now check it once per week or less.

It’s clear to me that Microsoft has paid well over the odds to stop Google getting yet another gain in ad inventory as it did by buying into AOL, YouTube and DoubleClick and by striking an advertising deal with MySpace. What’s not clear is how well Microsoft will be able to sell Facebook’s audience to their adCenter advertisers.

Mark Zuckerberg

Whatever happens, Mark Zuckerberg is happy!