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Options for implementing chat/IM in a social networking site?

helohelo Member Posts: 1
One of the clients I develop for wants a chat system added to his website. Although it's not a dating website, the kind of chat/IM that would make sense is similar to what match . com uses in their site (or even facebook's built-in chat). Basically it's private to paying members of the site, who can chat with other members online at the same time.

I'm pretty knowledgeable about LAMP, and I've done a search and found several chat implementations in PHP, but my understanding is that these are rather primitive and do not scale well. My client's site currently has 1000 users and is growing, so I want to give him a solution that will scale fairly well.

I believe match uses flash for their chat? Not sure about facebook. My searching has uncovered solutions in PHP, AJAX, flash, Java, etc. Or perhaps a service that offers a "black box" solution? There are so many options...which leaves me rather confused as to where to even start. Can someone point me in the right direction?

I can provide more details if needed but at this point I'm still figuring out what I need to know.

Thanks,

Helo
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