We’ve been receiving unhealthy reviews of the new Facebook Chat a la Sidebar system ever since Mark Zuckerberg’s men launched the feature in their ‘Something Awesome’ event last month. Many users complained that the sidebar occupied a large chunk of their page, squeezing the other bits around to fit in. This looked ugly and caused trouble, especially when playing games like FarmVille. Hence, unanimously, all the people who have written in to us said they would be glad if they could get back the old Facebook Chat system and asked if we could help them. The answer is: YES!
While there isn’t a smooth fix to Facebook‘s new fugly integration, after thorough research we did find a couple of workarounds to help settle the issue for the time being.
The first workaround is very simple and requires no kind of external installations or anything. All you would require is a simple link which you can open in a new window or tab, bringing the good old Facebook chat box and the same functionality back which Facebook-ers have been enjoying for years. Just visit http://www.facebook.com/presence/popout.php while you are signed in to Facebook and enjoy. Super simple.
The second workaround is actually for a certain category of users — Chrome-ians. If Google’s browser is your daily decoder, then you can install a Facebook Chat extension called Fix the New Facebook Chat that basically keeps the same styling as the new sidebar, but hides all the offline contacts.
Out of frustration of the new Facebook Chat System, you know – the one that shows offline contacts jumbled up awkwardly with online and Idle contacts – I decided to create an extension to hide all the offline contacts to have a simplified interface which will show only Online and Idle contacts side-by-side, similar to the old interface, with the added bonus of the new search function and multi-person chat function!
What this extension does is that it shows you only the online contacts in your list, thus fulfilling your purpose of hiding the offline contacts and making it easier for you.
To sum up, both the workarounds accomplish the same goal, that is, to make life easier for you on the world’s largest social network, without having to do something difficult on your side. Both the tricks are easy to perform and can be done in a matter of seconds!
So, which workaround do you prefer: the link one or the Chrome extension one?
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