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Report: Facebook's Testing a New Group Chat Feature

Illustration for article titled Report: Facebooks Testing a New Group Chat Feature

Hoping to compete against Apple's iMessages, Google's Hangouts and apps like WhatsApp, Facebook is reportedly testing a new chat room feature that would allow for hosted group chats on the web.

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Illustration for article titled Report: Facebooks Testing a New Group Chat Feature

According to TechCrunch, the new feature called Host Chat may be launched directly from the status bar, where you currently update your status or add videos and photos. The hosted chat is said to be open-ended in the sense that anyone can jump in or out, unless the admin decides to keep it private. Otherwise, you might see that your friends are camped out in a chat room in your newsfeed and you're free to enter into whatever discussion is happening. It sounds like an extension of the chat feature already employed in Groups, and might also look just like the current Facebook messenger window.

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While Facebook has confirmed that it is testing this feature to a limited number of users, it might not ever see the light of day. If deployed to the masses, however, it could help boost user engagement. Besides, who doesn't want yet another Facebook app on their phone? [TechCrunch]

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DISCUSSION

Nothing Facebook will do will ever make it leave people WhatsApp. It's almost the de-facto IM app.