Orion's Belt

I See Offline People

The new Facebook chat / sidebar sucks.

It first appeared on Sunday 17th of July, and it just might be the biggest reason yet for Facebook users to switch to another social network, even if just for chat.

Here's the deal: The new chat, according to Facebook developers, is a 'Faster way to message.' It has a 'sidebar' which, if opened, hogs up screen space, as the page is shifted the left to accommodate it. It is supposed to show you a list of the friends you interact with the most, or interacted with recently. And oh, you can't scroll down.

The worst way to message?
You can't scroll down.

It displays friends which Facebook thinks you interact with the most. And the number of friends displayed depends on the screen size - I can see 19 friends on my 1366 x 768 resolution.
That means, if I have more than 19 people online, I cannot know who the others are, since I can see only 19 people at a time. Out of which, if Facebook displays a few offline friends who I interacted with recently, then I may see even less people online.

I see offline people.
Why on earth would I want to chat with people who are offline?? Why display them in the first place??

It also means that if I want to chat with someone who I haven't chatted with recently, I have NO idea if he or she is online, because Facebook doesn't think it is important for me to chat with them. Wow.

And oh, if you've made a chat block list, you might as well forget about it. Earlier, if the blocked person was on another list as well, he was still blocked in chat. Now, if the blocked person is on any other list, he still shows up in chat.

After a day of this obnoxious chat interface, Facebook brought the old one back for a day, but again switched back, torturing us many users who had started thinking that Facebook had got rid of it for good.

Apparently, this new interface is a result of Facebook integrating Skype to their chat system.

All it means is, a lot if users are going to switch over to Google+ if Facebook doesn't address this issue.

Fail, Facebook.

Edit: 19-07-2011 :

Now I can't even see how many friends are supposed to be online. Facebook chat is going from Terrible to Horrendous.


  1. P.S: I LOVED the way you have linked sixth sense :D but SERIOUSLY.. isn't it "creepy" that when the entire world is mourning over the new chat but FB has let me retain my old chat?? O_o does Mark have a crush on me?? :P :P :P

  2. Considering you made your facebook profile a week back (just when users are starting to migrate to google+), I'm not surprised :D