Facebook to Launch IM Service

Facebook is poised to launch its own instant messaging service as early as next week. The service will be built into Facebook profile pages.

Facebook's plans may be bad news for third parties like Social.IM and FriendVox, which built IM apps on Facebook.

The announcement comes a week after Bebo, the third biggest social network, was purchased by AOL. AOL says the merger's success hinges upon the successful integration of AIM into Bebo.

MySpace also offers a rather sporadic IM service, which debuted in 2004.

Early this month, Facebook announced a music partnership with iTunes, right on the heels of MySpace, which itself is developing a music service with the four major record companies.

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