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June 28, 2013

Is Facebook testing “Host Chat” rooms feature?


Facebook is allegedly testing a new feature similar to AOL’s popular chat rooms from the 90s.

TechCrunch reported on Thursday that a source within Facebook detailed the chat feature, codenamed Host Chat, explaining that a “host chat” button will appear in the status update box on Facebook next to the “update status” and “add photos/videos” options.

Clicking the chat button will launch a chat room that hosts can then name and invite more friends to join. The chat room appears in a window that looks similar to Facebook’s one-on-one chat – only larger.

In addition, friends can join chats without an invite from the host. An update will surface in the News Feed whenever users begin hosting chat rooms, alerting other friends to join.

TechCrunch claimed a “mid-sized” group of Facebook employees are currently testing host chat in a text-only mode, although photos, videos and emoji will arrive at a later date.

Today’s news follows a series of changes at Facebook alongside circulating rumours. Details emerged earlier this week of a long-rumoured Google Reader replacement, for instance, which is allegedly Facebook’s attempt at creating a Flipboard-style service specifically for mobiles. The social network also recently unveiled a new Vine-like video service for Instagram with 15-second videos.

When asked to comment on Host Chat, Facebook gave the following response to TechCrunch:

“We do test things from time to time with a small percentage of users.”

Source: TechCrunch

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini