Facebook extends privacy and launches Chat service

Social network Facebook is rolling out extended privacy measures and an instant messaging service.

As part of the new privacy controls, Facebook members will be able to choose how much of their profiles are visible to those on their friends' list.

A new "Friend of Friends" option, based on social proximity, is being launched under which profile information is visible to certain contacts, rather than all of the site's members.

In addition, Facebook plans to launch an instant messaging service, called Facebook Chat, pencilled in for launch in around two weeks.

The chat facility will allow members to hold an unlimited number of one-to-one chats at the same time. However, it will not allow members to chat to several members at once.

The launch of Facebook Chat is likely to come as a blow to third-party developers, who have been working on chat services designed to run on Facebook's application platform.

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