Facebook has opened up Facebook Chat to allow it to be integrated into a number of other popular desktop instant messaging clients, expanding the functionality of its social network to over 400 million members.

"By integrating Facebook Chat with your preferred instant messenger, you'll never miss a message when you have to navigate away from Facebook and you'll be in control of how and where you chat with your Facebook friends," says Facebook.

"Simply connect your Facebook account with the instant messaging client of your choice and start chatting. You will not need to stay logged in to Facebook.com to continue to access your Facebook friends".

Facebook Chat will now work with your AOL Instant Messenger account and other IM clients that use Jabber, including iChat, Pidgin, Adium and Miranda.

Open web emerges

Mickael Remond, CEO of ProcessOne, told us the following regarding Facebook's latest move to open up Facebook chat to speak with other instant messaging providers

"With Facebook opening up its chat to connect with other IM providers this is sign of the 'open' web emerging enabling users to communicate with each other irrespective of platform, thereby breaking down walls between online communities. With the integration with Facebook adding about 300 million potential users, XMPP is now by far the largest standard protocol for instant messaging and real-time web communications.

"Gtalk, Nokia Ovi and Livejournal all have chat based on XMPP meaning that it now also has the largest instant messaging user base in the world. This is a demonstration of the growing popularity of XMPP in the messaging space. It is already being used as part of Google Wave and I am sure that it will spread to other forms of real-time web communication in the future."

Via Facebook