If you are a enterprise organization rolling out instant messaging and presence platforms from IBM or Microsoft, then the roadmap that Facebook revealed does not alter what is going on behind the firewall all the much. Organizations involved with unified communications based on SIP/SIMPLE are not going to significantly change their minds or direction because of Facebook per se.
But, a couple of points are worth mentioning. First, this announcement adds further credibility to XMPP as a worthwhile standard that IT architects and infrastructure planners should be aware of - and actively monitor. Second, XMPP should become a core requirement for organizations implementing gateways that federate their internal instant messaging and presence systems with public networks and other platforms (such as Facebook). Third - not only is Facebook supporting XMPP but Twitter is also aligned with XMPP. There have also been on-and-off discussions on possible synergies between XMPP and Atom/AtomPub. Perhaps at no other time has XMPP looked so interesting to so many different audiences.
For IBM, I would expect someone from IBM's unified communication and collaboration team to realize that this is a great marketing opportunity. At some point, I expect IBM to aggressively pursue interoperability between Facebook's XMPP system and the Lotus Sametime Gateway.
For Microsoft, this news presents them with a problem - they are in a position that is almost impossible to defend. There is absolutely no technical reason why the current Microsoft gateway does not support XMPP today. It is simply a political decision (in my opinion), by the folks at Microsoft as they compete with Google. Granted, GTalk does not have the market share of other public networks (Yahoo!, AOL), but even so, the strategy is clearly not customer-focused at all.
While promoting anything that helps Google might be difficult to accept, Facebook's implementation of XMPP might prompt Microsoft to reconsider. Facebook has a credible install base and its position as a leading social network site, (coupled with Microsoft's partnership with Facebook on other fronts), might likely persuade the company to finally support XMPP within its IM/presence gateway. Such a move I believe would be well-received by many of Microsoft's customers.
Using Facebook Chat via Jabber
Right now we're building a Jabber/XMPP interface for Facebook Chat. In the near future, users will be able to use Jabber/XMPP-based chat applications to connect to Facebook Chat to:
- Communicate with their friends
- See which of their friends are online and view their profile pictures
- Set their statuses
Users can securely authenticate and authorize applications to connect to Chat on their behalf and send messages to their friends just like they can on Facebook.