Facebook’s build-in chat feature is useful, but it lacks a desktop IM. Who will open facebook window for hours just for chatting? Browsers can crash or get accidently closed, therefore putting an end to the conversation. I am never comfortable with messengers build inside a website and prefer using a desktop IM. Lets look at 3 different ways in which you can use Facebook Chat on your Desktop Messenger.
Note: When you use facebook chat from desktop IMs, you will be able to use all feature that are present in facebook’s build-in online messenger.
Digsby is the first 3rd party messenger to support facebook’s chat feature. It is a cross-platform messenger available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. No hacks or plugins are required. Just register for an Digsby account and login with it. Once you are logged in, click Add Account. Now in the Accounts tab, click Add IM Account and select Facebook Chat from the list.
Enter your facebook login details and start chatting.
It’s that simple!
Pidgin is an opensource 3rd party IM that has a large user base but sadly till today there is no official support for facebook chat. The only way to connect with Facebook chat is through a plugin.
Grab the Facebook Chat Plugin for Pidgin and with it you can log into the Facebook servers, grab the buddy list, send/receive messages, add/remove friends, receive notifications, search for Facebook friends and set your Facebook status.
Once you have installed this plugin, you will find Facebook listed among the supported IMs.
Enter your facebook login details and click Add. Once added, you will see the list of facebook buddies that are online instantly.
Adium (Mac OS X)
Adium is a free opensource IM for Mac OS X. The latest version(1.3.3) has a build-in support for facebook chat, just login with your facebook account and you are good to go.
Above screenshot is taken from AllFacebook
Editor’s Note (Conclusion)
Digsby has an official support for Facebook Chat and is available for all three operating systems, Pidgin has no official support for Facebook Chat but can be added with a plugin, while Adium officially supports Facebook Chat but is only available for Mac OS X. I prefer to use Digsby since it is more user-friendly, has full support of Facebook chat, and is available for all popular OS. What do you think?