New Facebook Chat features and sidebar, your problems and imperfections

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?

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Written by Jamie Pert

Jamie has a background in computer repairs and maintenance along with network administration, he now enjoys utilizing the benefits of new technologies and enjoys writing about anything that brings new technology to the world.

He began writing for Product Reviews in mid 2009 and has since expanded his knowledge across a wide-base of devices, he is looking to get more hands-on experience with new devices to gain a better understanding of the latest and greatest technologies.

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