In it’s recent trend of being a company of innovation, Facebook has brought two more news updates for its fans. One, it is bringing its hashtag feature to mobile platforms and other, it is currently testing a new feature to be rolled out soon named as “Host Chat”.
While challenging Twitter and helping people discover more of the world’s conversations, Facebook, from today is adding hashtag support to its mobile site. The company, which released hashtags for users earlier this month took a significant step in helping people to discover news/updates from friends, Pages and people who post publicly.
Moreover, Facebook is testing another feature ‘Host Chat’, which will enable users to build chat rooms, their friends can join without an invitation, a source familiar with the feature told Techcrunch.
The chat room feature will create an option of Host Chat on a user’s home page. When clicked, it will open a chat room with a given name and people added by the host. Interestingly, whenever someone will make a chat room, the activity will get published on the homepage as ‘updates’ among his/her friend circle, and anyone can hop-in without being personally invited by the host and start chatting. However, a host can set privacy restrictions and limit who can and cannot join the room.
Unlike Google Hangouts , which also supports video chat with up to 10 people, early internal tests of Host Chat only supported text, no photo or video mentions Techcrunch.
As Facebook competing with other services like Apple’s iMessage, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp for online messages, the new feature will help Facebook gain an advantage due to the passive nature of these chat rooms. The chat rooms will help users to group chat on a specific topic/activity with strangers as well as friends, which they can’t do otherwise using current Facebook chat services.
With spontaneous private chat feature, users quickly pop in, have a conversation, and pop out. But these chat rooms keeps a user engaged and have the chat window opened, even if the user is not active. This will help Facebook to keeps its users hooked on site for longer.