Chit Chat for Facebook – Facebook Add On For Your Desktop
Everyone loves Facebook. But the site does have some technical issues, none more so than the inconsistency of its chat facilities. While Twitter suffers from a downtime problem, Facebook rarely suffers any issues with site access, but it does have regular problems with inconsistent connection during real-time chat.
Granted, the site does have an incredible amount of people using the site at any given time. But trying to chat with friends and family via Facebook can sometimes be a real headache. Someone sends you a chat message and you try to respond, only to see your reply hanging there for what seems like a millennia. By the time it finally get submitted the other person has gone offline and probably thinks you are ignoring them.
So is there another other option to Facebook’s own chat function if you want to converse with other people on the site? One solution is the Facebook add on – Chit Chat for Facebook
Chit Chat for Facebook: A Brief Overview
Chit Chat for Facebook is a desktop Facebook chat software solution that works in a similar fashion to Windows Messenger, AIM, and Yahoo! Messenger. Many Facebook users have grown tired of the site’s real-time chat behaving erratically and have reverted back to the more tradition instant messaging services.
What Chit Chat offers is a multi-functional instant messaging platform that bridges the gap. It offers all the reliability of a proven IM platform without needing to separate yourself from the beloved Facebook when you wish to chat with your family and friends.
Chit Chat is the brainchild of internet entrepreneurs Daniel Offer and Henrik Larsson. They spotted two real problems with Facebook and came up with a working solution. The problems were:
- Not everyone wants to access the Facebook site itself every time they want to chat, post status updates, and write on walls.
- The chat function on Facebook is not its most reliable feature.
The pair launched the website chitchat.org.uk and offered Facebook users a real time-saving alternative. By downloading their free Chit Chat for Facebook add on, Facebook fans could now have a desktop Facebook chat platform which allowed remote access to the site and its major facilities, minus the annoying technical glitches and unwanted features.
Chit Chat has been constantly updated to cope with any alterations Facebook has made to the site and API access. The current version of Chit Chat is v1.42 and is remarkably stable and bug-free.
Downloading and Installation
At first glance, Chit Chat appears similar to Windows Messenger and AIM. This may have been a purposeful tactic to make the platform instantly user-friendly and familiar to the many people already using these IM platforms.
The Chit Chat download file size is around 2.9MB, which is small compared to any of the other popular IM platforms. The download is fast and secure and installation is remarkably trouble-free.
To install, simply visit the chitchat.org.uk homepage and click on the download button. Save the file to your preferred folder, then once downloaded click on the Chit Chat exe file. The program has its own set up wizard. Follow the easy instructions and you are ready to go.
Features and Functions
Once installed, Chit Chat will ask you to provide the email address and password you use to log in to Facebook. After you have entered these details and logged in via Chit Chat the platform will load up your ‘buddy’ list – these are basically your Facebook contacts. You will instantly be able to see who is online and offline.
Your Facebook name and profile picture appears at the top of the platform interface (this is a similar size to Windows Messenger). You can have the program save your log in details so you don’t have to enter these every tie you want to log in.
Updating Your Status
Underneath your Facebook name and profile picture there is a text entry box with a ‘SET’ button next to it. You can write a new status here and use the ‘SET’ button to post the status update to your Facebook profile page.
There is also another button next to this that looks like a musical note. This feature allows you to turn on/off musical alerts. If set to ‘on’, you receive a musical alert when any of your contacts update their status message.
COMMUNICATING WITH CONTACTS
There are two main options here:
The Chat Window
Double click on an online contacts name. This will open up a chat window and allow you chat directly to that person. Chit Chat has a tabbed conversation feature which allows you to speak to numerous friends while only having one conversation window open. You simply click on each tab to speak to that particular contact.
During a conversation, your name will be a different color from the person you are speaking to. This is great for when you need to quickly browse back through the conversation to remind yourself of something you may have missed! A time stamp is also posted by default, so you can easily see when any message was posted.
Posting on a Wall and Sending Mail
Right click on any online contacts name and you will have 5 options:
- Send message
- Recommend Chit Chat for Facebook
- Write to friend’s wall
- Send mail
- Show chat history
If they are offline, your options are limited to the last 3 in the above list.
CONTACTS ONLINE/OFFLINE POP-UP
If any offline contacts suddenly come online, or vice versa, Chit Chat will alert you by displaying a temporary pop-up in the bottom right of your screen.
THE TOOLS TAB
There is a Tools tab at the top of the interface. If you click this you will be able to configure the program to your liking. There are six main categories, each with its own set of configurable features:
General – This includes:
- Automatically sign-in at Windows start-up
- Automatically check for updates
- Language preference
- Hide offline buddy list
Messages – This includes:
- Add a date stamp to chat history
- Add a time stamp to chat messages
- Alter font size, style, and color
Notifications – This includes:
- Add alert sound when message is received
- Add alert sound when contacts sign in/out
- Who you show your status to
Promotion – This feature allows the Facebook add on, Chit Chat, to update your status each time you sign in
Shortcuts – Which Include:
- Ctrl+U = Check for updates
- Ctrl+E = Send mail
- Ctrl+W = Write on contacts wall
- Alt+1 = Previous conversation tab
- Alt+2 = Next conversation tab
Connection – Allows you to input details of any proxy setting you wish to use
As previously mentioned, Chit Chat for Facebook is available from the chitchat.org.uk website. On this website you can find additional information about the Facebook client as well as helpful articles and press releases concerning Facebook and the Chit Chat client.
There is also a very helpful FAQ section which attempts to answer any queries anyone may have about the IM platform.
Another section on the website is Updates. In this area you will find a lot of information about the technical progression of the Chit Chat Facebook client and how it has evolved. It is here that you can see the level of customer service and commitment awarded by the creators of Chit Chat, Daniel Offer and Henrik Larsson. They attempt to keep customers in the loop at every stage of development and any technical issues appear to be addressed, responded to, and fixed in a short space of time.
The level of customer service, technical support, and feed back is excellent considering Chit Chat is a free download. The product itself is slick, well-designed and very user-friendly. All in all, Chit Chat for Facebook is probably the number one option for anyone looking for a free Facebook chat software alternative that offers the best features of Facebook, without any of the site’s problematic annoyances.