Facebook Users: Get your old Chat back (July 2011)

Are you one of the THOUSANDS of people who are agitated and downright dissatisfied with the new Facebook Chat? Where did all of your online friends go? Why are there OFFLINE friends showing up? Can’t figure out how to get it back? I found a little tweak that will help you get your old style chat back.

Currently (as of Aug 2, 2011) I have tested this in Firefox, Chrome and IE (but unfortunately Chrome and IE both seem to be unable to add a sidebar), however it has NOT been thoroughly tested on all browsers so please proceed at your own risk. Cowgirl Expressions claims no warranties that this will work for everyone on all browsers, and as usual, we have no idea how long it will be accessible as no one ever knows when Facebook will change things again. Ok, enough mumbo jumbo – on to the tweak!

Essentially, all we are going to do is “pop-out” our chat, and give it a bookmark so we can visit it regularly.  If you’re familiar with bookmarks in your browser, you can quickly visit the link below and be on your way.  FIREFOX USERS:  If you would like to have it as a “sidebar” in your browser, there are a few extra steps involved.  I will highlight them below, but to get started, all you need to do is visit:

http://www.facebook.com/presence/popout.php

BOOM!  Facebook Chat is now #WINNING!  Bookmark that page and you will be able to access your old-school chat anytime.  Using FireFox and don’t want it in a new tab or window?  Read on…

To get Facebook Chat back into a Sidebar:

Press Ctrl+D to bookmark the page.  Then press Ctrl+Shift+B to open your Bookmarks window.  In this window is where the magic happens.  You’ll need to move your newly bookmarked popout chat page to a place you can easily find it.  I like mine located in my Bookmarks Toolbar so it’s easily accessible.  You can put it wherever you want but there is one quick setting change we need to make, so find the bookmark itself and highlight it (or Add a New Bookmark from the Bookmarks window and make the following change) – Check the box next to “Load this bookmark in the sidebar”.

 

Now, make sure you add this or save the changes and visit your main Facebook page again.  Click the link to your new Facebook Chat Bookmark and viola, Old Style Facebook Sidebar Chat – COMPLETE WITH GROUPS!!!  You may need to move your mouse around the “edge” of the sidebar and drag it down to resize it to fit correctly.  An added note:  The sidebar will remain on ALL TABS or WINDOWS you have open, unless you close it out.  You may also want to “HIDE SIDEBAR” on the existing chat sidebar by clicking the Settings icon next to the search box at the bottom.  This will avoid having 2 Chat sidebars open.

UPDATE:  There is a handy FireFox Add-On available at http://firefox.exxile.net/aios/index.php that lets you really tweak the layout of your Sidebar.

Hope you enjoy this little hack!  Feel free to Buy us a Cup o’ Joe if you find it helpful!  If anybody knows how to get Chrome or IE to display bookmarks in a Sidebar, please let us know and we’ll share it here.