Facebook to shut down their XMPP service

So it’s been recently announced that Facebook are planning on turning off their XMPP gateway for Facebook Messaging. Their announcement says that it’ll be completely turned off for good as of April 2015, but that it’s just deprecated for now.

This is kind of a bittersweet announcement. The XMPP gateway was never really as feature-complete as any of the other messaging options provided by Facebook (by this, I mean the mobile Messenger client and the Firefox-powered Desktop Messenger), but it’s rise to prominence was the main reason I gave up on the old HTTP-based Facebook Plugin for Pidgin, which pretended to be a mobile browser.

So, now it looks like it might be time to dust the cobwebs off the old FB plugin and give it another crack. The other option is starting again, but reverse-engineering how the mobile Messenger clients work (might have something to do with MQTT?).

So that’s another big service dumping XMPP – we’ve already had MSN, AIM and Google deprecate their XMPP gateways. Who’s next? Does this make XMPP dead? What’s going to be the ‘next big thing’ in messengers? I guess that’s half the reason I like working with libpurple/Pidgin is that it’s an ever changing landscape with new things to learn from bigger companies.

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