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Love Facebook chat, but don’t want to leave Facebook open for fear of entire days disappearing? Here’s how to integrate Facebook’s chat service with Mac’s Messenger (and other IM programs).

IM, on its own, is perfect for quick questions. Facebook, on the other hand, is a visual quicksand, designed to pull your eyes in until you can’t help but scroll – and then you’re just stuck. If you want to be available on Facebook chat, but don’t want to be pulled into the timeline vortex, using a desktop chat client with Facebook is a good idea.

Messenger.app, which replaced iChat in Mountain Lion 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 , doesn’t include a two-step process for adding Facebook. But it does offer Jabber support – something Facebook also offers. Add this and you can use Maverick’s new notifications to respond to Facebook messages without ever opening a browser window:

messages-facebook-integrate

Here’s how to set all up. Prefer another chat client? Keep reading for universal instructions.

Adding Facebook To Messages For Mac

Open Messages, then click Messages in the menubar, followed by Add Account:

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messages-add-account

You’ll see a popup with three main offerings: Google, Yahoo and AOL – no Facebook. Below these three, however, is the “other” option – that’s what we’ll be using, so click it.

messages-facebook-other

From here you’ll see a drop down menu, with the same three options as above. You’ll also see Jabber, so use that.

messages-facebook-jabber

Jabber, sometimes used interchangeably with XMPP, is an open source messaging service. Facebook’s chat is set up to use this protocol, so that’s what we’ll be using here.

You’ll now see a few cryptic options, but don’t panic, this is simple. Here’s what you need:

  • Account Name: This is your Facebook username, not the email address you use to log into Facebook. To find your Facebook username, head to your Facebook profile. The characters that follow “facebook.com/” are what you’re looking for:

messages-facebook-url

  • Password: Your Facebook password. If you are using two-factor authentication you should use an application-specific password by visiting your security settings.
  • Server: chat.facebook.com
  • Port: 5222

You should leave Use SSL and Use Kerberos v5 for authentication unchecked, or you won’t be able to log in.

messages-facebook-settings

That’s it! You should now be logged into Facebook chat using Messages. You should see everyone in your Buddy List (under the “Window” menu).

Other Clients

I’m focusing on Messages for this article, but this is by no means limited to just that program. If you like Adium, or are a Windows or Linux user who loves Pidgin, this is easy to set up. Check out Facebook’s official instructions for more information on how that works. Here are the basic settings they offer on that site – they should work anywhere.

Protocol: XMPP or Jabber
Username: <your Facebook username>
Domain: chat.facebook.com
Jabber ID: <your Facebook username>@chat.facebook.com
Password: <your Facebook password>
Port: 5222
Server: chat.facebook.com
Use SSL/TLS: yes
Allow Plaintext Authentication: no

Alternatives

Okay, so IM integration isn’t for everyone. There are other ways to tie Facebook more closely to your Mac, however. You can, for example, post to Facebook from the notification center How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion How To Post To Facebook & Twitter From The Notification Center In Mountain Lion Similar to its iOS counterpart, the Notification Center (which can be accessed using the right-most icon in your menu bar, or by using a hotkey) is designed to keep track of the multitude of information... Read More . This also means you’ll get notifications for messages.

If that’s not enough you could also check out these 3 cool menubar tools for Facebook 3 Cool Facebook Tools For Your Mac OS X Menu Bar 3 Cool Facebook Tools For Your Mac OS X Menu Bar If you look up 'procrastination' in a dictionary, chances are you'll find a big picture of me. I'm terribly good at finding new excuses to postpone work. A frequent and very popular excuse is Facebook.... Read More . Glow, for example, adds notifications for just about everything that happens on the site.

Another menubar app worth checking out is Swifty, which is the fastest way to send Gmail, Facebook messages and Twitter DMs all at once Swifty Is The Fastest Way To Send Gmail, Facebook Messages and DMs From OS X Swifty Is The Fastest Way To Send Gmail, Facebook Messages and DMs From OS X Swifty is the quickest way to send emails, messages on Facebook or DMs on Twitter from your Mac — and you'll never have to open a browser window. Read More .

Finally, we’ve outlined a number of ways to chat on Facebook from the comfort of your desktop How To Chat On Facebook From The Comfort Of Your Desktop How To Chat On Facebook From The Comfort Of Your Desktop From the first days of public Internet, it's been a long and winding road for chat. From Web chats that were nothing but forums, to ICQ and IRC, to MSN Messenger and Google Talk, and... Read More , so check that out for even more apps (some of them for Windows and Linux).

Do you like using Facebook IM without signing into Facebook? Or is it just another potential distraction? Let us know what you think okay? Comments. Below.

  1. Rod
    March 13, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    It worked! Thanks. In Mountain Lion, you must type your Username and add “@chat.facebook.com”.

    Also, if you have two-factor authentication, when you put in your password it will then send a text message to your phone with another password from Facebook to type in to another password dialog box that pops up.

    Thanks again!

  2. Deborah Jordan
    March 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    The account name didn't show up as I copied it. ( your Facebook username )@chat.facebook.com

  3. Rodd
    March 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Yes I did. I even double checked it. BTW, the instructions are different for 10.8. You have to launch the Preferences control panel and then choose the Accounts Tab and then click the "+" tab to open Account Setup window. All very 'old school.'

  4. Deborah Jordan
    March 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    @rod As Justin indicated under 'Other', use Facebook's Jabber ID: @chat.facebook.com.

  5. rod
    March 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I'm on 10.8.5 and I keep getting the error message:

    The Jabber ID "[myname]" is Invalid
    You must enter a valid Jabber ID before you can use this account.

    Ant ideas?

    • Justin P
      March 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      My only guess is that you didn't find the correct username. Did you check your Facebook URL? Might be a silly question but I thought it worth asking.

    • Justin P
      March 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Okay, so in Mavericks I didn't need to add "@chat.facebook.com" to my username, but perhaps you need to in Mountain Lion. Does doing so help?

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