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I love using Facebook Messenger How Bad Are Those Facebook Messenger Permissions Anyway? How Bad Are Those Facebook Messenger Permissions Anyway? You've probably been hearing a lot about Facebook's Messenger app. Let's quell the rumors and find out if the permissions are as bad as they claim. Read More for keeping in touch with various cohorts and partners-in-crime around the world, but this sentiment is not widely shared by others. A lot of people I’ve come across hate Facebook Messenger as if the app has personally trashed their car, and flooded their house. Even though they use Facebook often, they refuse to touch the Messenger app. I personally don’t understand it. But hey, each to their own.

So with that sentiment in mind, I decided to carry out a public service and go out hunting for some Facebook Messenger alternatives. You can use these to keep in touch with your Facebook contacts while on the go, if you do not want to use Messenger for whatever reason. Hey, you’re welcome!

Skype

We start with the big bad boy on the block. Yes, that smoldering charmer, Mr Skype Skype Releases Facebook Integration & Multi-Party Video Chat [News] Skype Releases Facebook Integration & Multi-Party Video Chat [News] Read More . Skype has long had Facebook integration, so along with being able to see your Facebook Wall in a separate window, you can also talk to your contacts there. Integrating is painless. Simply find your “Skype Home” box:

Then click the link to begin linking accounts.

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Once you have given Skype the necessary permissions to access your Facebook account, your contacts will immediately appear in your Skype contact list.

As you can see though, one major drawback is that you are unable to merge identical contacts into one contact. But that’s a minor gripe, and a problem that only OCD people would have a problem with. Skype has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as various other platforms and devices. Just head on over to their download page.

Pidgin

I have been using Pidgin for years, to keep in touch with my various contacts spread across different instant messaging networks Combine All Your IM Accounts In One Application With Pidgin [Windows & Linux] Combine All Your IM Accounts In One Application With Pidgin [Windows & Linux] Pidgin is a free instant-messaging client that combines all your IM accounts in one simple application. Instead of running several different IM clients that display ads and eat up memory, just use Pidgin. All your... Read More . Pidgin is free and open source, and well worth using if you are on a Windows PC (no Mac or Linux option unfortunately).

Adding Facebook contacts Integrate Facebook Chat Into Pidgin Instant Messenger Integrate Facebook Chat Into Pidgin Instant Messenger Read More is a breeze. Go to Accounts>Manage Accounts to see the list of possible networks you can link up to. As you can see, Facebook is one of the first ones.

Then it’s just the simple matter of adding your Facebook username (what is at the end of http://www.facebook.com/your username ) when you go to your Wall, and your password. Add the name you want listed on contact lists, and an avatar, and click connect. Then wait for the contacts to come through.

What is great about Pidgin is that you can merge Facebook contacts with the same contact on different networks. So if Christian or Danny, or Mihir was also on Google Talk, I could merge the two contacts together to make one.

Adium

This is more or less the Mac OS X equivalent of Pidgin. It is somewhat eclipsed by iMessage, but after three years of using a Mac, I have never really warmed to iMessage. I still prefer my birdies.

Setting up your Facebook contacts on Adium Adium - The Ultimate Instant Messaging App [Mac] Adium - The Ultimate Instant Messaging App [Mac] Start using the best instant messaging client out there for Mac. It's called Adium, it connects to everything and there's no reason for not using it. Okay, there's one reason - Adium does not support... Read More is very simple. Just choose Facebook from the list of possible accounts, sign in, and your Facebook friends will appear under….well, “Facebook Friends”. What more is there to be said? Nice and easy.

iMessage

As I’ve just said, I am not a huge iMessage fan, but I seem to be in the minority. So I would be entirely remiss if I failed to include it in the list of possible Facebook Messenger alternatives.

iMessage Bye Bye iChat: Getting Started With The New OS X Messages App [Mountain Lion] Bye Bye iChat: Getting Started With The New OS X Messages App [Mountain Lion] As the dust surrounding Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion release settles, it’s time to evaluate whether those killer features announced earlier this year are really that good. For me the most exciting addition when I... Read More is Apple’s internal SMS system where one Apple user can text another Apple user free of charge. That’s the part I like. But the integration with other IM programs? Meh, not so much. But if putting Facebook on iMessage is what floats your boat, adding it takes 30 seconds or less.

Under Preferences > Accounts, enter your username followed by @chat.facebook.com. Then your Facebook password. Under Server Options use chat.facebook.com as the server. Leave the rest empty and click Done.

IM+

This multi-protocol instant messaging app, which I have had on my phone for ages, is perhaps one of the best around. In the absence of Pidgin or Adium making an appearance on the iPhone, IM+ has emerged as the next best thing. And it is even better with Facebook included as a chat platform. Simply press the “Connect with Facebook” button, give IM+ permission to access your Facebook account, and next thing you know, Auntie Jean and Uncle Bob will be pinging you with the family gossip.

Trillian

Trillian offers support for Facebook Messenger, but a quick scan of the Trillian help pages shows that many users are having issues with connecting, and then staying connected. However, you may have absolutely no problems at all, so if you are an existing Trillian user, there’s no harm in trying it and seeing what happens.

I certainly had no problems when trying it out for this article. And I am not renowned for my overwhelming good luck. Even the black cats run away when they see me.

What do you use to talk to your Facebook chat contacts? Are you a Facebook Messenger fan, or do you use an alternative app?

  1. Matt
    October 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    I don't want an "app" at all. I just want to send 3-4 facebook messages a month from the browser on my phone or tablet. Kinda like pinterest almost forcing an app download everytime I visit the site from my tablet (2-3 times a month). (it'll give you a better experience!!!).

    How many "apps" are we going to need to download to just view the internet?

    Email? If you use it a lot, apps are better
    Games? Yeah, they can perform better that way
    Special purpose programs (navigation/word processing/spreadsheets/graphics), yeah, apps are fine.

    But I've seen apps which are basically a link to the site - rather pointless.

  2. Jim Obasa
    April 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Honestly can't see why people are so against Facebook Messenger. Never had any problem with it. I can do so much with it - send pictures and videos, make calls and video calls. Perhaps some people are simply anti-Facebook. I am a 60-year old Facebook user and maybe the reason I have never had any problem with it in the five years I have been using it is because I don't do some of the really dumb things on the site that younger users do.
    Only a total idiot gives out a personal phone number or e-mail address in an open post, but it happens.

    • Droid
      May 13, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I'll try to explain it to u.
      Facebook Messenger is giving us a great service but it's the most spy-shit aplication that we can download from Google Store or Apple Store.
      it's listining to ANYTHING your doing in your phone.
      privacy is not a crime.

      just go to google store and go for Facebook messenger, and then check what premissions they asking for..

      it's insane.

  3. sovereignty
    January 11, 2016 at 3:22 am

    IM+ does not connect to Facebook messaging anymore. They haven't updated their Android app since 2014 and Facebook did away with their old chat XMPP API the middle of 2015.

    I tried Trillian and immediately stopped using it because, even though it works with Google, Facebook, etc., it does not connect directly to the intended servers. It requires you to go through their servers creating a major security risk.

    • kroneage
      January 28, 2016 at 3:26 am

      You do..... I hope realize that Trillian is a totally Secure Enterprise level program first out in the late 90's on secure private networks. If your communications aren't already secure enough, Trillian will take care of that and provide a hellOlot better security than you get with Facebook App out of box!

      It's Facebook and their Apps who don't want to work well with other applications. Tune it up right and keep updated and Trillian will work better for more things and has far more useful features, than FB will ever allow FB Chat to have!!!!

      That's just a small part of Trillian's value from years of working as a secure professional enterprise level chat application!!!

  4. Tyler Regas
    August 22, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Aside from Skype, not a single one of these apps is actually an alternative to Messenger. That's because Messenger is no longer an instant messaging client. It is now an SMS replacement app that works like WhatsApp, BBM, and my favorite, Telegram. Such apps are not limited like SMS's 140-character max, and don't require a separate, unreliable transport to send media (MMS). They just work, and that's why people find them attractive.

    Out of all of these apps, only Telegram has apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Firefox OS (Blackberry 10 users can run the Android app which works flawlessly). There are also desktop clients for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and if you prefer, there's a web app. Then there's the matter of not being under the thumb of a corporate giant that makes money off of you using their services.

    It's that, more than anything, that peeves me about Facebook. You love it. That's your choice. I do not. I hate everything about Facebook, including the fact that I'm forced to use it because I have close friends who use it, and I have my works to market. So, when a product appeared to me in my news feed that I had only discussed in a private message in Messenger, that was the last straw.

    Now, before you call me paranoid and laugh me off as some kind of kook, all I want is to be able to use the internet the way I want, and not guided by the whims of corporate giants. That's why I use Telegram and Ello. I use Facebook and Twitter as mules to hawk my wares, and that's about it.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I would never consider you a "kook". You're entitled to your opinion, just like anybody else.

      I wouldn't say I LOVE Facebook. I need it for promoting my work and networking to get new clients. But if I wasn't in the self-promotional business, I would most likely not use social media at all. My wife loves it, and I use Facebook to chat to a few friends overseas, but it isn't something wonderful in my life.

      I do think their Messenger service is good though. They don't screw everything up! :-)

  5. Swanny
    April 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Worth pointing out that Facebook recently released Messenger for Web at http://www.messenger.com. It works really good, and combined with this Chrome extension (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/facebook-messenger/mdapmeleikeppmfgadilffngabfpibok) I use it on a daily basis now.

    In my opinion/experiences, Facebook chat on anything that isn't the main website or Facebook Messenger is a really terrible experience. Constant random disconnections, you can be in the middle of a conversation with somebody and they will randomly go offline, yet you go back to the Facebook site and they are still online.

    You also can't have a conversation with somebody who is showing up as being on their mobile but not "online". There's also no proper support for sending files or photos.

  6. Anonymous
    April 24, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Is there a way to get iMessage working on my iPhone? Or is it just a Mac thing?

    Great list though! I didn't know Skype had FB integration or I would have stopped using pidgin by now. Lol

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

      iMessage is "Messages" on the iPhone. When you receive a SMS message through Messages, and it is coming from another iPhone, then it will appear in iMessage on your other devices.

  7. stelth
    April 23, 2015 at 6:40 am

    IM+ doesn't work with facebook for a long time now on iOS

  8. Pascal Poitras Dubois
    April 23, 2015 at 3:47 am

    my favorite is bitlbee. It also supports twitter

  9. Tim
    April 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Did I misunderstand the part about Pidgin not having a Linux version? Someone should tell my Arch Linux-running netbook, then... and for that matter, the first PC I installed Red Hat on, over a decade ago.

    Pidgin started life in 1998 as Gaim, an AOL Instant Messenger client for... yes, Linux. It gained support for other IM networks over time, and was renamed Pidgin in 2007 due to legal issues related to AOL IM.

    Pidgin is handy to have on a Linux system, especially with all the plugins, including Bonjour (for ad-hoc "mesh" chatting over a LAN) and Telegram (another FB Messenger alternative I'd definitely recommend, if you can persuade your friends to get on it too...).

    • Mark O'Neill
      April 22, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      You're quite right. Apologies for the error. I will ask my editor to make the appropriate adjustment.

    • Wally Wilson
      September 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Yes, Pidgin came from GAIM, and has been on Linux for nearly forever.

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