Seven Alternatives for Accessing Facebook’s Messenger Feature

kkreddy By kkreddy, 22nd Feb 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Web Sites

Facebook recently launched a desktop app that allows you to use the most basic functions of its messaging service without having to use a browser, a welcome change for users who enjoy staying in touch with friends but dislike having to be constantly focused on the browser. Many users may find its lack of features disappointing however.

Alternatives for Accessing Facebook’s Messenger Feature

Facebook recently launched a desktop app that allows you to use the most basic functions of its messaging service without having to use a browser, a welcome change for users who enjoy staying in touch with friends but dislike having to be constantly focused on the browser. Many users may find its lack of features disappointing however.

Fortunately, there are alternatives.

Facebook is tremendously popular, and it offers users the ability to stay in touch with family, friends, and even colleagues without the hassle of maintaining constantly changing contact information. Finding an improvement to its messaging ability makes sense for users who expect more from their messaging experience. We’ve assembled some of the best alternatives available for you to review.

Chit-Chat for Facebook

Our top choice for alternatives to Facebook’s messenger is a feature rich application called Chit-Chat for Facebook. It offers the convenience of instant-messaging using your Facebook contacts with additional options that greatly improve the experience. Custom fonts and colors are available, and tabbed messaging allows you to easily keep track of multiple conversations easily.

Friends are listed by their current status (online, away, offline), and an alert notice can be customized to your preference for letting you know when friends are available for IM’s or when you have a new message. (It can also be disabled completely if you prefer.)

Productivity is also greatly aided by numerous useful shortcuts, and a Boss Key (Ctrl + M) quickly hides the application from prying eyes when needed. Proxy servers are also supported to help users avoid filters if necessary. Users login with their Facebook login and password, making it unnecessary to create a new account, and chat sessions can be logged and saved if a future record of the conversation is needed.

Chit-Chat for Facebook is the best choice for frequent users of Facebook, and the ability to ignore the browser interface completely insure you can stay focused on your work while staying in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. Chit-Chat for Facebook is available as a free download, and is installed quickly and easily without unwanted bloat-ware or malware.


Trillian was the first universal IM client that allowed users to send instant messages to friends, family, and colleagues regardless of which IM client they used, and it has continued to maintain its status as the perennial favorite for hardcore chatters. Available as a free ad-supported download, a Pro version is available that costs around a dollar a month but allows users access to tech support and ad free.

Continuing to maintain its position as the IM client for everywhere, there are versions for Windows and Mac desktops, as well as versions for Blackberry, iPhone, and Android mobile devices. There is also a web-based version, but like the Facebook app available from within the Facebook page it requires users to focus on the browser.

Trillian also allows users to access Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare accounts as well, which makes it convenient for users who take their social networking extremely seriously.

Trillian’s best feature is its ability to work on every popular IM client, and if you are in need of a one-stop service to access multiple accounts then Trillian continues to dominate the market and may be worth a moments review.

Facebook Chat for Pidgin

Like the previously mentioned Trillian, Facebook Chat for Pidgin is for users who need access to their Google Talk, MSN, AIM, and Yahoo accounts in addition to Facebook. Pidgin has a new plugin available that will allow users to access their Facebook accounts using the popular, universal IM app. It adds little to the Facebook Instant Messaging app released by Facebook, but it does allow users to continue to message anyone through any popular IM client while using Pidgin.

While it lacks a tabbed interface, other features available from the original Pidgin IM app can be used through the users’ Facebook account. If Facebook is one of many messaging applications you make use of on a regular basis, the Pidgin Plugin for Facebook Chat may be the way to go for hardcore IM fans.


Digsby offers users IM, Email, and Social Networking access through one application, although users should be warned that it also installs the toolbar upon installation. Although the installation of the toolbar is not what we would like to see, the ability to manage all of your accounts through one application makes Digsby worth a glance if you plan on doing any heavy lifting.

Naevius Facebook IM

Naevius Software has a desktop IM client that mimic’s the Facebook Instant Messaging app and like Facebook’s offering, it focuses on providing a basic IM experience that can be accessed from outside the browser. While the chat experience is not much of an improvement over the Facebook app, we mention it here because Naevius also offers users the ability to tweak the appearance of their Facebook page, albeit through a separate bit of free software.

Facebook Chat Monitor Sniffer

IM Monitor offers a unique service that allows users to monitor Facebook conversations from any networked computer, but at a price ($69.95 for the Facebook version). For business owners and network managers who need to know what employees are posting, this app captures Facebook messages and exports them in an HTML format.

Although not an alternative to Facebook Messenger itself, it does offer some unique features that a narrow group of users will find useful. Parents of teens and pre-teens may find the app of particular usefulness since it captures all Facebook messages on the local area network. The main drawback is that messages sent outside the network cannot be captured by the software.

Facebook Instant Messaging from Facebook

The most basic experience available is going to be with Facebook’s stand-alone app for accessing its instant messaging through a free download, but as stated earlier there are other applications that offer users a fuller experience. Still, if all you need is a basic way to access Facebook without the hassle of the browser, the Facebook app may be a way to get started.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Feb 2013 (#)

Interesting features to make Facebook almost standalone for connectivity - siva

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