When I saw the first screenshots of the Web Bar, part of the new Windows Live Messenger Web Toolkit, I was amazed. Not amazed by the features it has, not by its look, but amazed by its similarity with the Facebook Chat bar. Look yourself:
Let us have a look at the similarities in detail.
Facebook Chat bar and Messenger Web Bar – some similarities
- We see the main icon, giving access to all your personal details, in the right bottom corner.
- Inside the window opening when you click that icon, you can change your status message.
- You can also decide whether to come online or to appear offline, or even set a more detailed status like Busy or Away.
- On the left of the main icon, you have the contact counter. Clicking it will show your contact list.
- Again, on the left, there is space for conversation buttons. When a new message arrives, a new tab opens or an existing starts to flash.
- Each conversation tab has the contact’s display picture as well as their name and status next to it.
More similarities include:
- The Chat bar is positioned at the bottom of the browser window and stays at its position, regardless where you scroll.
- The Chat status stays the same and you stay signed in, even when you click a link to a different page within the same website.
Is it just pure coincidence?
Are the similarities just a pure coincidence, or was it wise planning and inspiration?
Did the Windows Live team just steal the whole chat bar idea from Facebook?