New Facebook Chat features and sidebar, your problems and imperfections

By Posted 8 Jul 2011, 20:10

Yesterday the messages team over at Facebook launched a new update for Facebook Chat, this brings a new sidebar which lists the people that you chat to the most and also allows you to invite multiple people to a chat, however not everyone has been impressed by the update.

Firstly the list of the people you message the most which shows in the sidebar does not allow you to customize how it appears, currently this sorts names alphabetically, which means that if your best friend’s name starts with a letter which is near the end of the alphabet you will not be able to quickly chat with him/her. Lots of people have vented their anger on Facebook and a page called “I hate the new Facebook sidebar” has been set up, you can Like this page here, 260 people already have.

The general feeling seems to be that Facebook chat worked pretty well prior to the update which begs the question: why change it? Finding a comment which isn’t full of profanities is a hard task, however we think that Otilia Alexandru Trifan summed the general feeling up with this comment “I simply hate it. I see nothing better than before. I constantly have a long list of all the friends I have ever chatted with, even if only once, so not interesting at all”.

Not everyone can see the Facebook Chat sidebar yet (including me) and we don’t know why, therefore we would love to hear from you if this problem affected you, if so, how did you manage to resolve it?

Another new feature which the update brings is video chat, Facebook has been working with Skype to build this feature into chat and now it is ready, simply go to this page and click “Get Started”, this will enable video chat and soon when chatting with someone you will see a video call button, click this and the video call should start, we briefly tested this and it worked fine, if your friend doesn’t answer you can simply leave a video message, neat eh?

Finally we must briefly mention group chat, this functionality has been wanted by many for a while now and it has been well implemented in our opinion, when chatting to someone simply select the add friends to chat icon, we tested out this function for roughly 10 minutes without a problem and think it is a welcome addition to the social networking website.

We would love you to share your opinions in the comments section below, feel free to let us know what problems you have with the new Facebook Chat sidebar and what ideas you have which would make it better.

Do you like the new Facebook Chat?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Cr0wley David Laufer

    Hate it. I can only see 10 out 101 friends online. Its not like I can remember all of those people it doesn’t show. You need to be able to switch between views or have the option to revert

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Cr0wley David Laufer

    Hate it. I can only see 10 out 101 friends online. Its not like I can remember all of those people it doesn’t show. You need to be able to switch between views or have the option to revert

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Cr0wley David Laufer

    Hate it. I can only see 10 out 101 friends online. Its not like I can remember all of those people it doesn’t show. You need to be able to switch between views or have the option to revert

  • http://twitter.com/hayjh Hayden Humphrey

    I hate the fact that I can only see 10 out of 600 some friends.. I wish they would add a scroll feature so that I am able to view all of my friends that are online rather than seeing ones that aren’t online.

  • Anonymous

    as USAF crew chiefs would say “IF IT AINT BROKE, DON’T FIX IT”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1758456741 Anthony Pacatang

    I freakin hate it… I also cant see EVERYONE thats online, and Im seeing people that’s not even online so why place it there, no improvements, its all bs 

  • http://www.facebook.com/glitter.princess004 Giovanna De La Torre

    I hate it!! i truly dont like it!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/heddg Hedd Gwynfor

    The problem with the new sidebar is that it simply doesn’t work! In the chat section (bottom half of new sidebar) a list of 7 people appear, and there is no way to scroll down to see (and therefore chat to) anyone other than these 7 people. Also people that are NOT online appear in this list of 7 people. Why? It doesn’t make sense. If there was a way of scrolling down to see EVERYONE of your contact that were online, and if the list actually showed ONLY people that are currently online, I wouldn’t have a problem with it…

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    I think that facebook tried to implement a sidebar which you can customize or leave the old normal chat, cause this is actually a good idea, just they screwed up, would be nice to have the option to have the full normal chat, or this minimized chat even with offline people, but made up of a list that YOU want to make, not what they think should go in there cause they say it’s people you most chat with, and half the bar has people I have never even said hi to in my life, facebook if you’re listening, just go back to normal or if you’re gonna change it, at least make it right )=

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shaker-Bel-Hadj/1024066768 ‘Shaker Bel Hadj

    there’s no doubt that i really hate this shitty new sidebar!!! they should keep the group discussion and the video option if they want tobut they have to go back to the old list with only online people…. and the people who are suggesting to keep the new bar and add a scrolling option, i gotta tell them i ain’t ready to scroll throught 300 or 400 friend to find the online ones…….. simple conclusion, the new sidebar sucks!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shaker-Bel-Hadj/1024066768 ‘Shaker Bel Hadj

    there’s no doubt that i really hate this shitty new sidebar!!! they should keep the group discussion and the video option if they want tobut they have to go back to the old list with only online people…. and the people who are suggesting to keep the new bar and add a scrolling option, i gotta tell them i ain’t ready to scroll throught 300 or 400 friend to find the online ones…….. simple conclusion, the new sidebar sucks!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664092954 Jon Brauch

    it sucks and i hate it….. u cant minimize chat windows, you have to “x” them out. and your friends list only shows those who APPARENTLY i talk to the most (so not really).. the friends list only shows like 20 of your friends, whether their online or not and they dont change…. what about my other 50 or so friends that are usually under my friends list that are logged on or idle..?  stupid.

  • Anthony Eckert

    Well it sucks ass. Its a straight google + copy? Hangout owns way to hard. Facebook can’t catch up. By the comments it sounds like it fails. Then again a social network where I have to 600 friends and I cant pick and chose who sees what, is a failure.

  • Anonymous

    hate it so much..how can i change it to the old one?

  • Anonymous

    hate it so much..how can i change it to the old one?

  • Anonymous

    I want the old one back.  When I hide the side bar, it tells me there are 35 people online and yet when I open it, it only shows the 11 people facebook selected for me – some of whom are not online.  And there are some pretty random friends on my top list, including some people I never talk to.  So much for a smarter version of facebook chat.  If anyone knows how to get the old one back, I would love to know too!

  • Anonymous

    I want the old one back.  When I hide the side bar, it tells me there are 35 people online and yet when I open it, it only shows the 11 people facebook selected for me – some of whom are not online.  And there are some pretty random friends on my top list, including some people I never talk to.  So much for a smarter version of facebook chat.  If anyone knows how to get the old one back, I would love to know too!

  • http://profiles.google.com/matthias.bolliger Matthias Bolliger

    I like the new style. It’s a clean, simple list of people. The old one was “by friend list”, so each online friend appeared numerous times (because I use friend lists extensively). The new style gets rid of this problem. And it’s practical to be able to _type_ to find the chat peer.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1315402863 Fede Dronkit

      in the old chat it was also possible to type names to find them in the list, duh

  • http://www.facebook.com/geoffrey.kroll Geoffrey Kroll

    It would be nice if we could roll back to the old chat.  For my use it worked fine and only showed people that were online.  Why show me people that are not online, of if they have selected to not be chatted with by me and that is why you show me a name with no green dot next to it, then why show me they are online ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659287868 Lela Gilbert

    I absolutely HATE IT. I hate having to go back again and again to make myself unavailable to chat. I don’t want to be interrupted in my work so leave chat off 90% of the time. And  your new brainchild continuously puts me back online. How annoying is that? I don’t care about the side bar, I can just ignore it. But please stop making me available to “chat” when I absolutely do not want to be!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=828025047 Sean Looney

    im more concerned about the lack of privacy the live feed gives!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ibrahim-O-Abuelrish/100002466971185 Ibrahim O. Abuelrish

    problems with new chat:
    1) i can’t see all my online friends, i have to play, oh, is that person online game every time i feel like chatting with someone…

    2) i want my inbox messages and my instant messages separated… who in the world thought of keeping a log of all instant messages, most of the time they’re completely un-needed after the conversation ends… inbox messages however are like emails to me, well written, i will probably get back to them again. don’t mix them together.

    3) i don’t want to be stuck in a “friends bubble” created by an algorithm, don’t tell me who i interacted with frequently, i already know… don’t hide from me the friends i didn’t talk to in a while, it’s nice to see them online sometime and chat… if i stopped being their friend i would’ve deleted them,

    ahh, Facebook you seriously fail… this is the worst “update” any website has ever come up with… whoever thought these changes were good ideas has to be fired and never work in website development again… i am seriously considering other options now, google + being on top of the list.

  • http://opentheboxbrussels.tumblr.com Thibault Thf

    Same problem here ! Can’t see all my online contacts. Could FB remove this automatic personalization ? Was much better before this useless update. :-/

  • http://opentheboxbrussels.tumblr.com Thibault Thf

    Same problem here ! Can’t see all my online contacts. Could FB remove this automatic personalization ? Was much better before this useless update. :-/

  • http://www.facebook.com/rishabhiitb Rishabh Jain

    older version works on explorer thank god !!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristelle.julian Kristelle Julian

    how will I reset the chat sidebar? I really don’t like it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505868393 John Heffner

    Why not just create chat rooms?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269604547 Francisco Esparza

    How do i go back to the original sidebar? i don’t like the new one !!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1229017397 Rachel Wilson-Cross

    I never got the new sidebar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1373574385 Blinky Billy

    I prefer the old one. This new one is terrible. CHANGE IT BACK PLEASSSSEEEE.

    OR AT LEAST HAVE BOTH OPTIONS AVAILABLE.
    THOSE WHO WANT THE NEW ONE CAN HAVE IT AND THOSE WHO WANT THE OLD ONE CAN JUST STAY AS IS.
    WE SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE.!!

    MY PERSONAL OPINION IS THIS IS THE WORST UPDATE IVE EVER SEEN !!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=18908693 Ciara Scott

    I don’t like this new sidebar. I don’t want to have to search each friend by name to see if they are online. There are some people I don’t chat with often but if I see them online I may say hey, now that is out of the question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=758259287 Eccentrix Kudey

    i dint get the sidebar yet and from what i have heard this isnt good,but video chat is pretty cool..

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeyengo Michael English

    to solve this problem all facebook have to do is go back to using the old style chat….far better! and with all the negative feedback i dont see why they are persisting!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183370383 Joe ‘junglist’ King

    I very rarely used the Facebook Chat in the first place but now i will definately NOT be using it.. it’s really rubbish compared with the old system but in true Facebook tradition, THEY know best and we will just have to get used to it because once they make a change they NEVER go back no matter how many petitions and complaints there is.. they simply do not care. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/revenGmyass Dimas Setiawan

    worst. update. ever. -comicbookguy

    • Princessjannatjannat

      my facebook is not friend chat show why only yellow chat

  • Angel Depablos

    how can i disconnect from new chat?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4DGVDRBJ4E5EQYWNGOK5VDAJIE Flávia R

    this DOWNgrade of fb is making me move faster to google+

  • Khristen Rafols

    I have the new sidebar and video chat feature. But I still don’t have the add friends to chat feature.. >.<

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509430672 Christine ‘Yount’ Osborn

    Not a fan even an itty bitty bit. It’s getting very annoying having to go back to offline every time I load a page.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4A3X47P52EMCUWQKROKDY7LWXQ Elizabeth L

    I just want to disable the sidebar AND the new chat.  I NEVER chat on FB and don’t want to.  It’s annoying and I hope they give an option to disable it entirely.

    • http://twitter.com/Demphster Julian Forbes

      Ii disagree ! .. Ii think just the new updates should be removed !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000062572355 Devansh Naidu

    facebook is just making it easy for G+ to become dominating

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gianna-Kavlaki/100002053498417 Gianna Kavlaki

    my old sidebar is back!!!!!!!!!!!!
    <3<3<3<3

    • http://twitter.com/Demphster Julian Forbes

      How did you get your old sidebar back ? x

  • http://www.facebook.com/stefania.skorski Stefania Skorski

    How FB manages to “algorithm” itself into choosing as “the people I chat with most often” some of the ones I’ve NEVER talked to since they became my friends, and some of the ones I stopped chatting with many years ago, is a mystery I leave forever unsolved…

  • http://www.facebook.com/samanthayh Samantha Hamelin

    i hate it because you cant see all of the people online. it just shows you a select few people and with 100+ or so friends on my facebook, the fact that i can only see a few of them is so stupid!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rhenz-Tactics/100000597618453 Rhenz Tactics

     sorry but i dont like the new version of facebook sidebar!!!

  • Lassi Paasi

    Unfortunately one more bad “update” amongst many others from Facebook.
    I don’t know whose idea this was, but have to say that not the sharpest tool in the shed…I don’t care about who I chat with the most. If I feel like chatting with someone I check if He/She is online and chat. If not, I don’t chat.Fortunately there is iChat in a Mac (and other 3rd party software for PC also) so you can use Facebook chat through it and see people who are online, idle and offline. And also, IT WORKS!

    Looking forward to see what G+ wil eventually be like.

  • http://twitter.com/Demphster Julian Forbes

    How do Ii get rid of the people I’ve chatted to the most ? Because it gave me an option to turn it on or off and Ii clicked yes… Does anyone know how to turn this off?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Serena-Petrushevsky/560146536 Serena Petrushevsky

    i can’t even see all the people that are online ! the new chat thing doesn’t let us scroll down

  • Sarina

    The problem is that we can’t see who is online. Sometimes I want to know if somebody is online even if I didn’t chat him without typing his or her name somewhere..

  • Sarina

    The problem is that we can’t see who is online. Sometimes I want to know if somebody is online even if I didn’t chat him without typing his or her name somewhere..

  • http://www.facebook.com/lily2000 Christian Christensen

    This is the reason why Google+ has got 20.000.000 users in 2 weeks. Facebook simply fail to connect with the users and again and again implements updates without consulting the community. There could have been a note in a blog some ware but I certainly did not see it. The scroll function in the chat was an essential part of my day on Facebook and it was JUST taken away without any notification. Why fix it when there was nothing wrong???
    Christian

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N3L3TIBJ3IP643BUTJTE6USQFU Thomas Andreas

    Facebook always keeps it’s nose high. No one ever informs us, the users, about any upcoming update or anything.

    Like now, with the new chat. Launching the videochat option was a great thing to do. Apparently it was missing the group video chat option as the competition has announced. And facebook wants to get ready for it by ruining the existing chat to a middle state.

    If they are desperate to copy something of google+ then they should copy their user feedback policy and CONSULT the users as well. 

  • Anonymous

     HI!!! i have a problem with the chat on facebook and while many can contribute to the conversation and others I can not; has happened to others if they know why and I can do;

  • Naava1

    i totally hate this new chat. 1) the people i chat with the most are NOT LISTED on the sidebar…and people i have never chatted with ARE listed.  2) my side bar occasionally contains the search bar but not always, and no gears to do options. 3) now it won’t tell me even if people are online when they are online. (no green circle or half moons…those have all disappeared )  4) if i HAVE successfully chatted with someone, the chat box which i leave open to keep an ongoing conversation (while browsing in between or making a phone call etc) DISAPPEARS and we have to start all over again..and neither one of us knows if the other is still online or left.   
    WHAT IS WRONG WITH FACEBOOK THAT THEY CANNOT OPERATE A SIMPLE CHATTING SYSTEM. ARGH

  • Chrisgreen

    I absolutely hate it. I don’t use it very much and now there is no “offline” option. I am going to close my FB account most likely as this is the last straw. Some people want to be able to connect to others for whatever reason but DO NOT want everything “shared” and all the other crap and intrusions on their activities. Now all these people that I have no desire to talk to see me as available and then I am bombarded with crap that I am not interested in. If I want to talk to these people I will meet with them or phone them or whatever without them having access to me all day and all night! Chris Green

  • Chrisgreen

    I absolutely hate it. I don’t use it very much and now there is no “offline” option. I am going to close my FB account most likely as this is the last straw. Some people want to be able to connect to others for whatever reason but DO NOT want everything “shared” and all the other crap and intrusions on their activities. Now all these people that I have no desire to talk to see me as available and then I am bombarded with crap that I am not interested in. If I want to talk to these people I will meet with them or phone them or whatever without them having access to me all day and all night! Chris Green

  • Todd Hyle

    baddis’s post cured the problem for me. I went back to the old format and considered this issue resolved several weeks ago.

  • Marilyn

    I love the new chat sidebar….and mine has disappeared…WHY..????…I want it back PLEASE.

    • Vmactexas

      mine has too what happened???

  • Mikey5

    so did mine… how do you get it back

  • Marilyn

    I want my sidebar back….

  • guest

    Thanks!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!                     <<<<>>>>>>

  • guest

    Thanks!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!                     <<<<>>>>>>

  • Rob Mayes

    I also can not see the new side bar. My friend logged in on my laptop and he gets his side bar. When i log into face book on any other computer i do not get new sidebar.

  • Michelle

    I still am not able to see, or find my Facebook side bar!   Also, why am I appearing online to all of my Facebook friends, except one.  And this person does not have me blocked.  I still get all their updates. But they do not appear “online” on my screen, when I know they are online!!
    If someone can help me with these two questions, I would appreciate it!
    Thank you!!!

  • Kdemarco916

    how do you enable the new facebook chat?

  • Pamrich

    I have no chat bar or anything, please bring the old one back as you can see who is on line and chat if you want to. Only just joined fb but do not like this change at all. WILL ANYONE AT FB LISTEN TO ALL THE COMMENTS I DOUBT IT.

  • Fatimazuhra20

    i can not see the ongoing friends activity on right side of facebook page. there is just the list of friends for chat. i want the ongoing activity to appear on right side. kindly guide me.plzzzz……..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlene-Pierce/100000518598261 Charlene Pierce

    I now can no longer see my chat sidebar as of 25 minutes ago. In the middle of chat it cut out and closed my 3 conversations I was currently having. Please repair this immediately!!!!

  • Asrcan

    im geting a symbol like a yellow triangle shape and can’t open the chat sidebar

  • Nsee18

    Facebook chat help? Can’t view messages in chat bar but have to go to my inbox and refresh to get messages?

  • http://www.paulsmithsale.uk.com/ paul smith uk

    abc123

  • gail

    Using the new gmail screen, I am unable to see the chat box on the left hand side of the screen. Given that this is a feature I use to keep in contact with our staff while we all work from our google accounts, I have switched back to the old google screen (and am dreading the thought of a forced change). Better utilization of the options on the left hand side of the screen is a must. Without a more user friendly format, I cannot easily use the features that I have come to rely upon.

  • K.N. Raghavan.

    some thing wrong in facebook since I get 2 face books in my name. Please solve this immediately. I am getting confused!

  • Cynjo57

    My FB chat sidebar just disappeared a week ago.  I have reported it twice but FB doesn’t seem to give a darn whether I have it or not.  Do YOUR JOB.  I want my chat sidebar back!  what are you guys doing in there besides making tons of money!  Please, I’m convalescing from surgery and cannot get out and about.  FB and Chat is all I have for now.  HELP!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000348528690 Ivantot Cabungcal

    my chatbox is located at the lower left side but when i use other account the chat box is located on the right side . what happen to my chat box ? how can i take it back ?

  • Charnita

    i love playin games on fb and i also love to chatt with my fb frnds, but wen im playin my game, sum1 always tries to chatt with me and it knocks me out of my game. fb shld make a settin were u can choose to not be seen on fb while playin games if one does not want to be interrupted

  • Myb

    I can’t use the scroll UP and DOWN on the sidebar of FB, but this problem happens only when i use google chrome. It plays perfectly fine when i uses firefox? How do I solve this issue, please help…

  • umar

    i cant see the side bar of facebook chat …..nothing appears on right side of the screen wen i open my facebook account

  • stacey

    when on facebook chat the is a name with no simbol this mean there offline right?? so what does it mean wen this persons name keeps on coming off and on my chat all day??