One of the biggest complaints about chat in social networking is that you have to be logged into the social network to use it. It can be a hindrance to productivity to keep the browser open and check back without being sucked back into Facebook for vast periods at a time. Sometimes, users would simply like to continue using the chat, much like AOL and Google Talk, without being logged in.
One of the best solutions out there is a standalone or bundled chat program, depending on your needs. One of the Facebook messenger apps on the market is Chit Chat for Facebook.
Chit Chat for Facebook is a program that you can install on your Windows-based PC to allow you to still message on Facebook without staying logged in the main site. It works much like every other standalone client you may have already used, though it does also have some drawbacks.
The features themselves
Chit chat for Facebook is a no-frills piece of software that allows you to chat online without leaving your Facebook account open. Its functionality is exactly what you’d expect of a chat program, though in testing, I did find it slightly slow to respond sometimes.
– Clutter free interface – It’s easy to see who is online, and who else is available to chat.
– The box that contains one chat contains all chats, i.e. you’re not spawning window after window to flick through separate chat sessions.
– The options are clear, giving you fine-grain control over important stuff like disabling emoticons and other options such as time stamping.
– The offline/online boxes are minimal, and the color scheme isn’t bad either – it’s noticeable without being too distracting and ‘in your face’.
– Spyware – Before I even finished installing or logging in, I had to uninstall the spyware, then reinstall and run a system scan. The install process needs the end user to be aware of this, or they’ll install things they may not realize that they have, and in this case, slow down their system.
– It’s online/offline only – You can’t see whether other chatters are idle or not.
– Facebook seems to slow down slightly – This could be because your chat is logged in twice.
Overall, though, if you’re looking for an alternative Facebook chat system that won’t compromise productivity, this is a satisfactory solution.
Ease of installation – Given that you have to pay so much attention and know exactly what bit of the install agreement is for what, I’m rating it a 2.5. At least it gives you the opt out choice for these other pieces of software.
Features – This is advertised as a no bells-and-whistles project – so again, 4 stars – though there are some extra missing features that would make it a five-star item, such as idle status for friends.
Use – 5 stars. There was nothing difficult or uncomfortable about the use itself, and I really like that it auto-stacked chats into one box, allowing you to see who was talking to you without taking up valuable screen estate with multiple boxes.
Ease of Uninstall – No complaints: 5 stars. In addition to its ease of uninstallation, the software bundled with it is also very easy to remove and doesn’t affect the software in any way.
This is a solid contender for standalone chat on Facebook, and as long as you’re aware of what you’re installing, this is a great piece of software will allow you to chat without staying logged into Facebook, saving you precious time.