Facebook reportedly tests "Host Chat" chat rooms feature

Attention all hipsters: Facebook is allegedly testing a new feature akin to AOL's popular chat rooms from the 90s.

TechCrunch reported on Thursday that a source within Facebook had detailed the chat feature, codenamed Host Chat, explaining that a "host chat" button would appear in the status update box on Facebook next to the "update status" and "add photos/videos" options.

Clicking the chat button will launch a chat room that hosts can then name and invite more friends to join. The chat room appears in a window that looks similar to Facebook's one-on-one chat - only larger. 

In addition, friends can join chats without an invitation from the host. An update will surface in the News Feed whenever users begin hosting chat rooms, alerting other friends to join.

TechCrunch claimed a “midsized” group of Facebook employees are currently testing host chat in a text-only mode, although photos, videos and emoji will arrive at a later date. When asked to comment on Host Chat, Facebook gave the following response to TechCrunch: "We do test things from time to time with a small percentage of users."

Read: Facebook planning Flipboard-style reader for mobiles

Today's news follows a series of changes at Facebook alongside circulating rumours. Details also emerged this week of a long-rumoured Google Reader replacement, for instance, which is allegedly Facebook's attempt at creating a Flipboard-style service specifically for mobiles. The social network also recently unveiled a new Vine-like video service for Instagram with 15-second videos.



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