Chit Chat, or more accurately in its full title  as the developers describe the Facebook messaging application, ‘Chit Chat for Facebook’ is a chat tool for Windows that connects to the Facebook chat network.

Since its launch just a few years ago, Facebook chat has become one of the most popular instant messaging networks and whilst it’s not that popular for business use, for personal use the popular social networks messaging system has become a communication network of choice for most users.

Due to its popularity various desktop messaging clients have been developed for the Facebook chat platform, Chit Chat for Facebook is one of the more popular ones. This article will review this instant messaging service.

Interface Design – 4*

It’s always good to give a good first impression, and Chit Chat doesn’t disappoint. When going to install, you’ll see a rather polished setup flow.

Once installed, you’ll find that the Facebook windows chat app presents itself with a slightly flamboyant, yet attractive user interface.

Whilst the buddy list has clearly been upgraded to a new interface design, at the time of writing it appears that the conversational window has yet to be upgraded. However, whilst the conversation window looks, in summary, rather basic – it is functional.

Ease of Use – 4*

Making use of Chit Chat is very intuitive. Although, relatively speaking, Chit Chat is a fairly new instant messaging application, it makes use of standard Windows application behaviors that you will know and be familiar with.

Flowing through the installation process is a breeze, and signing into Facebook chat on this Facebook desktop app is relatively simple. Just enter your Facebook username (or email address) and password and the application will sign in.

One thing I should point out here is that you’ll require a Facebook username – if you don’t have one, or don’t know what that is you’ll need to read here: http://www.chitchat.org.uk/english/faq#65

Moreover, Chit Chat won’t function if your security settings are too high – if you have a problem you’ll need to read here: http://www.chitchat.org.uk/english/faq#53

Despite its short comings discussed above, engaging in conversations with Chit Chat for Facebook is what I’d like to call ‘parent proof’ – you could quite happily install it for a non technical friend/family member and they’ll quite comfortably be able to sign in to Facebook chat on Chit Chat without any difficulty.

Functionality – 4*

In order to keep Chit Chat as easy to use as possible, much of the functionality behind Chit Chat for Facebook has been hidden away in the preference menu.

That said, by default Chit Chat provides most of the functionality that you would expect and more from an instant messaging application. For example, you’re notified by sight and by sound when friends sign in or messages are received. Moreover, the buddy list shows which of your friends is online, away or offline.

In the top of the buddy list, users are able to change their Facebook status or switch on music status messages. Music status messages is an automatic feature from within Chit Chat that enables you to automatically announce to your friend list the music files that you’re listening to on Windows Media Player or Winamp.

Hidden in the preference menu is the ability to make use of proxy servers which will be useful for those of you that find Facebook blocked within your country, place of work or school. Those of you with a creative touch will be able to customize the look and feel of their chat conversations.

Interaction – 5*

Interacting with your Facebook friends with Chit Chat is very simple. Simply double click on a friend you wish to talk to, write a message and press send. Easy. When a message is received your instant message window will flash and the tab will have a yellow icon on it indicating that a particular message has not yet been read.

Other Items Of Note

Chit Chat for Facebook is a free, but ad supported application for Microsoft Windows. The authors, Athena IT Limited, also have released a Facebook Blackberry application which is essentially a clone of the Windows application for the Blackberry smart phone.

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