Remember the days when you socialized online with AOL Instant Messenger? You probably thought you had the most creative screen name, and the longest list of friends—because everyone had AIM—and spent time chatting for hours before putting on an away message to let your friends know what you were doing when you stepped away from your dial-up connected computers.
The away message was a way to show our friends just how cool we are, and the kinds of interesting things we were up to. Today, with the explosion of social network sites, this feature seems almost silly.
But Facebook must be feeling nostalgic because they are brining back a form of AIM's away messages that remind us of these good ol' days.
The largest social network is incorporating what they call the "sidebar status" for its Messenger feature, which will allow users to post an away message in Facebook's mobile app for both iOS and Android smartphones.
Users currently can swipe to the right to bring up the list of friends they commonly message. Starting on Friday, Facebook will begin testing the sidebar status in Australia and Taiwan that allows users to write an away message and see those written by friends. Facebook also is adding dozens of picture icons that can be added to the message.
These away messages will only been seen in the sidebar of the app, not in the News Feed. The messages, which allows others to see why you can't chat right now, will disappear in 12 hours or when you update the message.
This new feature is supposed to be a away to stay up-to-date on what your closest friends are up, and also lets you "pin" the best on your list, since your News Feed is probably cluttered with articles, ads, and photos you don't really care about.
Photo: Maria Elena | Flickr