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Facebook combines Messenger and Groups, invents the chat room

Now you can join up to 249 of your closest Facebook Groups friends in a real-time conversation.

Facebook combines Messenger and Groups, invents the chat room
[Photo: Becca Tapert/Unsplash]

There are tens of millions of Facebook Groups. And starting today, they’re all going to get a new feature: integration with Messenger, which lets members chat in real time. A new Chat tab will let members start a new conversation; up to 250 people can participate in any specific thread.

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[Image: courtesy of Facebook]
The new feature sounds like a logical extension of group-chat features that Messenger launched back in March. (In fact, when I covered that news, I figured out this might be the next step.) I certainly belong to some Facebook Groups that I’d enjoy participating in via a more real-time means such as Messenger. And the whole idea reminds me of social networking in its old-school form–way back in the 1980s, members of CompuServe Forums would gab the night away in the service’s CB Simulator.

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About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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