Which are the best Facebook chat instant messengers? Since its launch in April 2008, Facebook Chat is rapidly gaining market share in the Instant Messaging market – most notably Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Indeed, back in June 2009 Facebook announced that they were sending over 1 billion instant messages a day.
Without a doubt, most of my friends have shifted their instant messaging usage from using just Windows Live Messenger to Facebook Chat. Unlike traditional desktop instant messengers, however, Facebook Chat is restrictive to its use in your web-browser, and lacks a lot of features that I’ve grown used to in other Instant Messengers – features such as “Chat History” and Sign in notifications. Thankfully, there are some excellent third party instant messengers for Facebook Chat:
Chit Chat for Facebook
If Facebook were to develop their own desktop instant messenger, chances are, it would look something like Chit Chat for Facebook. Chit Chat boasts a clean and easy to use buddy list, instant message notifications, status alerts and a tabbed message window. In my opinion, it’s a better way to use Facebook Chat.
Chit Chat Buddy List
However, what I particularly like about Chit Chat is how easy it makes it for me to format my own instant messages and add emoticons. Much easier than in web based Facebook Chat. But that’s just me; I’m a huge fan of emoticons!
Chit Chat Tabbed Instant Message Window
Those of you that like for your instant messages to be saved for future reference will love the Chat History feature.
Whilst Chit Chat for Facebook is just for Facebook Chat. Digsby is a Swiss army knife of desktop instant messaging, Digsby supports MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Facebook Chat – and that’s to mention a few!
Whilst use of Digsby is a prettier instant messenger than Chit Chat, and provides access to additional instant messenger networks simultaneously – Digsby tries to be all things to all people. If you need to be logged into multiple networks at once Digsby is great.
However, unlike Chit Chat for Facebook the formatting of text messages don’t work from Digsby to Facebook Chat – and Digsby allows you to send emoticons that Facebook Chat simply aren’t seen by a Facebook Chat user. Digby’s implementation of chat history is excellent, however.
Digsby Chat Window
Meebo provides web-based instant messenger polygamy – it allows you to connect to Facebook Chat, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Although, why people prefer to use their browser to access instant messengers rather than a desktop application is beyond me, but I’m assured that Meebo is very popular.
Meebo’s Facebook Chat instant messaging service is in Alpha at the time of writing, and I was forced to downgrade my browser from Google Chrome to Internet Explorer 7 in order to get the instant messenger to work.
Whilst I like the clean interface of Meebo, I found it had problems talking to users on Facebook Chat on Digsby and Chit Chat for Facebook – the reverse was not true. Chit Chat users and Digsby users were able to talk to Meebo users just fine. Moreover, the emoticons that Meebo provides are just fantastic – however, Facebook Chat users simply aren’t able to see them, so they’re pretty redundant.
Meebo looks pretty nice; it’s one to watch for the future, but certainly not how I’ll be accessing Facebook Chat from now on.
Mac Fan boys, have no fear! Adium is a desktop instant messenger for Mac OS X that provides access to 15 different instant messenger services from one client, Facebook Chat being one of those. Whilst I wasn’t able to review this item, since I don’t have access to a Mac – I’ve heard good things about Adium.
Pidgin, the instant messaging service that has a flying rat as a logo – provides access to 20 – yup – 20 instant messaging services. Impressive. However, Facebook Chat isn’t one of those by default. So you’ll have to add a third party plug in.
One thing that I like about Pidgin is the ability for you to add a proxy, so if Facebook Chat is blocked at your work place or school – or even by your government, you can use a third party proxy. Not that we recommend bypassing that kind of thing.
Pigdins Facebook Chat service client looks pretty good, however, it doesn’t support the formatting of instant messages and it had too many Facebook Chat connection issues for my liking.
This is a guest post by Daniel Offer, who writes about Chit Chat for Facebook instant messaging. You can also write guest articles and share your favorite Facebook tools.