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Stop Everything: Facebook Is Basically Bringing Back 'Away Messages'

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Remember the days when life was simple and the only thing you had to worry about was which emo song lyric you'd post as your AIM away message?

We all thought the away message died when AOL died, but thanks to Facebook, it's soon to return.

And I — rather, my inner 14-year-old — couldn't be more excited.

Facebook recently announced it is testing a service called the “sidebar status” in Taiwan and Australia, and pending success, may unleash it internationally.

The new feature allows users to type a short message to appear underneath their names in the  Facebook Chat bar. Along with the personalized messages, users can select an icon — from dozens of presets — to accompany the messages.

If untouched after 12 hours, the message will disappear.

Similar to the regular Facebook status, users can customize who can see the status message and who can't.

They won't, however, appear in others' News Feeds -- so there's no risk of them getting lost in the clutter.

Facebook product manager Sue Young told The Verge,

People were having a difficult time staying in touch with their friends and seeing what they're doing on a daily basis. Now when I visit the sidebar, I can get an instant pulse of what all my friends are doing.

So, start getting familiar with all those old Taking Back Sunday lyrics — 'cause pretty soon, you're going to need 'em.

Citations: Facebook brings back the away message in a new mobile experiment (The Verge)