If you are looking for a free desktop client for Facebook chat with a minimalist look and clean interface, then check out Chit Chat. Chit Chat is similar in functionality to fTalk, but comes with a wider range of handy features such as customization options to change chat text, 20+ useful hotkeys, auto save of chats, support multiple tabs, proxy servers and Facebook user groups.
The main interface of this Facebook messaging app provides a clean look with a list of online friends. You can instantly set your status and enable/disable Chit Chat sounds from the options on the top of the main interface.
You can customize the look of the conversation text and instantly send emoticons using the options above the chat box. If you would like to save or clear chat history, use the options located on the top right corner of the interface.
Advanced customization options can be configured by going to Tools –> Preferences (from the top menu). From here, you can set Chit Chat to automatically start with system startup, save IM and Buddy window size, disable chat logging, enable time stamps for messages, clear chat history, change font styles (for messages being sent and received), import/export settings and much more.
One feature that you might find really useful is the custom hotkey support. Using these hotkeys you can instantly view the buddy list, IM window, open Preferences, sign out, view current conversation history, save/clear chat history and minimize the chat window. In fact the developer’s websites gives quite an interesting advise for using the CTRL+M hotkey (for minimizing the chat window), i.e. “ To hide the chat window when your boss arrives”.
Like all instant messaging applications, Chit Chat also provides system tray alerts when contacts come online or go offline. This keeps the user updated with contact activity.
Despite some very handy features, Chit Chat also has some shortcomings. These include the fact that it is quite heavily ad-supported and can take a bit of time to load the buddy list. I hope the developer fixes the latter in the upcoming version to make Chit Chat functionality more smoothly. As for the ad support, all I can say is that developers do need to earn a living and if they are providing freeware, they should be allowed to use ads. Chit Chat works on the following Windows operating systems:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Windows Server 2003