Nov 12 2010
There are some common truths about the internet that everyone knows. Google search is better than Yahoo. Using Aol is equivalent to not knowing what the web is. Craigslist is not to blame for the proliferation of the oldest profession known to man. And Facebook is the current forerunner in the online social network space.
Amazingly, despite being the central meeting place for millions of people online Facebook has one critical shortcoming. Their chat utility is one of the worst of its kind. For a website that’s designed to connect people, chatting with people on Facebook lacks many features we’ve grown used to. It doesn’t allow you to save your history. It has no stealth settings. You can’t adjust the font type, color, or size. There are no audible sounds when you send and receive messages. It lacks pizzazz in every way.
Filling the void where Facebook left off is Chit Chat. Chit Chat is Facebook chat software that you can install locally on your computer. Unlike the undersized chat windows offered by Facebook, Chit Chat provides a normal sized window that is both legible and configurable.
Once installed, you can use your Facebook login info from the Chit Chat client to talk with your friends online. It comes with a number of configurable options:
- Show last messages.
- Adjustable window size.
- Show user groups.
- Hide offline people.
- Track history.
- One of the best sets of emoticons known to chat-kind.
- Customizable fonts and colors for messages sent and received.
- Visible and audible notifications.
- Multi lingual support including English, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Vietnamese, and most importantly, Albanian. Apparently there are 7.6 million Albanian speakers worldwide, all of which can now experience improved Facebook chat.
- Ability to set your Facebook status and adjust who can see it.
- Ability to write on other people’s wall or send them Facebook messages. (just right click on their name.)
There are a few other options but I’ll leave it to the user to discover them. OK, I’ll mention one more- shortcuts. Here users can configure hot keys so they can perform functions without using the normal navigation. So to write on someone’s wall just highlight their name and type Control-W.
Chit Chat’s chat window is unique. Rather than imitating every other local chat utility they came up with a new concept. They provide just one window which has multiple tabs for each person you’re chatting with. This prevents the situation where you end up with 37 windows to manage on the windows task bar. I know we all love chatting but it’s nice to have it confined to just one window. It makes it easy to talk with multiple people as you click from one tab to the next.
One aspect of Chit Chat’s Facebook chat software is it comes with a few advertising options. These are fine but some users may not prefer them. They can be deselect them during initial setup if you like. Another option would be for Chit Chat to call upon an age old SlapStart motto- when in doubt, charge! What I mean is to break the product into two versions. The first being the free version with the core set of features. The second being the complete package with all the bells and whistles, for a one time fee of €5- €10. That way all users still have access to improved Facebook chat software, but they can upgrade if they like.
Chit Chat, which has been around since 2008, continues to offer the same best of brand chat service for Facebook. Sure they can’t completely work around Facebook’s inexcusably long list of shortcomings. They provide the best Facebook chat software available so you can finally enjoy chatting with your closest Facebook friends.