As part of today’s Facebook Home announcement, Mark Zuckerberg talked about how messaging would work within the app itself, including SMS. Instead of jumping out of the new Facebook experience, Zuckerberg has designed something it calls “Chat Heads,” which essentially pops a picture up of the person who messages you, along with a small preview of that message to give you quick context.
Messages pop up in the top right hand corner of your device—these can be moved around on the screen—showing off your friend’s picture and a quick preview of that message. Chat Heads are overlaid onto the apps you’re in, so you never leave the site you’re reading or email you’re writing. Facebook’s Joey Flynn said the experience is designed to feel like your friends are there right with you, instead of disconnected and disjointed. Tapping on a friend’s Chat Head brings up your conversation, and conversations are easily managed by tapping on individual faces.
Facebook claims this is the most elegant way to stay connected with friends, and introduces a more immediate and intimate experience. Group chats are supported, of course, and ditching a conversation is as easy as dragging it to the bottom of the screen.
As the event wraps up, we’ll have more information about Chat Heads.