I wrote about Facebook's intriguing new twist on the away message, now testing internationally.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, before Facebook created the world's first billion-person social network, many of us stayed in touch through instant messaging. Services like AIM and ICQ let us stay in touch not just through chat, but through away messages — tiny fragments letting friends know what you were up to while away from your keyboard. (The indispensable YourAwayMessage offers a representative sample.) Today, Facebook is bringing those fragments back with what it's calling the "sidebar status" — a kind of away message you can post in the sidebar of its mobile apps for iOS and Android.