While we had some inkling this was coming, Facebook has now announced that Facebook Chat can be integrated into desktop instant messaging clients, another move towards taking the functionality of the social networking site away from the main site.

"By integrating Facebook Chat with your preferred instant messenger, you'll never miss a message when you have to navigate away from Facebook and you'll be in control of how and where you chat with your Facebook friends", says Facebook.

"Simply connect your Facebook account with the instant messaging client of your choice and start chatting. You will not need to stay logged in to Facebook.com to continue to access your Facebook friends".

The integration can work with all Facebook buddies, or users can set it up via Facebook Friend Lists to just select certain people they'd like to live chat with.

If you have an AOL Instant Messenger account, the latest version of AIM incorporates Facebook Chat whilst other instant messaging clients that use Jabber, an open messaging protocol, such as iChat, Pidgin, Adium and Miranda will also be able to support it.