Facebook intros group chats, new chat tool design

Users can now add multiple people to a chat. In addition, there's a new design for the company's chat tool.

Facebook's new group chat feature
Facebook's new group chat feature. (Click for larger version.) Facebook

Facebook is launching a new group-chat feature and a redesign to its chat tool, the company announced today.

The new features were revealed during an event Facebook held today at its Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters. Last week, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company was planning to "launch something awesome" today.

The social network's new offering will allow users to group multiple people into a single window to chat. Those who are online will get messages immediately, while those who are not on the platform will receive a summary of the conversation at a later time.

In addition, its chat tool features a sidebar that shows all the folks a respective user chats with most often. That sidebar adjusts in size based on the size of the user's browser window, and "appears when the window is wide enough," Facebook says. According to Zuckerberg, that simple change should make it easier for those with larger browser windows to chat.

Both group chat and Facebook's new chat design are being rolled out starting today.

Update at 11:10 a.m. PTto include more details.

• Facebook unveils video chatting, thanks to Skype
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