When I was at college everyone was on MSN messenger, you logged into a chat function with all your friends (via email) there to chat with, it is safe and easy to use. You can share pictures and links, catch up with news and talk about gigs and parties. Social networking hadn't engulfed the populous, My-space was a new thing and and Facebook wasn't a household name so MSN messenger (often just called MSN) is what those who were "down with the kids" used to communicate online and for many years it reined supreme.
Unfortunately few people log into MSN on a regular basis anymore. Plenty of people check their FB and emails every day but enless your looking for sometime to chat with and kill time you don't log into MSN. After years of service it had become superfluous to requirements, this was even more evident when facebook launched its own chat feature. This enables you to see who is browsing online (as I mentioned for most people thats every day) and chat in the background but unfortunately the FB chat feature is a bit of a nightmare. Your window flashes when you receive a message and anything else you may be doing is frozen, which happens too all the FB tabs if you have multiples open. This is supremely annoying if you have people buzzing you often, and don't even think about talking to 2 people at once!
But huzzah here is a life saver from MSN, in an attempt to take back some of the online chat glory, the FB chat link feature in Windows Live Messenger Wave 4. You link you email and FB accounts together, enabling you to see all your FB friends who are online in the MSN window, you can then send them messages from MSN that they receive on FB. Enless they also use this feature and then you both chat in MSN like you used to without the hassle and fuss of logging in separately, freezing your tabs or blocking up you FB browsing.
I live away from my home town, following my DH all over the country (and abroad) on Military postings so for me sharing news and photos online is the main connection to family and friends back home, it can get pretty lonely and I for one think it is fabulous! Way to go MSN :)