Facebook Chat Sidebar: Does Facebook Know You Better Than You?

We at OSM often report about the different social networks that there are including LinkedIn, Twitter and now Google+, but there’s one that is in the news for the wrong reasons… Facebook. As things stand, the site currently has a few problems; one of them is that the new Facebook Chat Sidebar apparently knows you better than you do.

We have recently reported that in our opinion the new chat sidebar is a tad on the useless side; you simply cannot see all of your friends on there that you want to. One of the greatest features that Facebook had was the simplicity of being able to talk to friends that are online using chat and interact with others by leaving them a post on their wall, or sending them a message to their inbox.

With Google+ soaring to over 10 million users after a matter of weeks, we are sure that the problems that Facebook currently face with the number of scams and the inadequacies of their new chat function, people will most definitely jump ship if they haven’t already. Remember the old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, perhaps Facebook’s development team should have applied that to the functionality side of the chat sidebar.

At the moment what happens is you have your sidebar down the right hand side where you see some friends, some are online whilst others are offline. According to Facebook, the people in the list are those that you “interact with most frequently”, arranged in an alphabetical order. If that’s the case then they have made some serious errors along the way as there’s a number of people in my chat sidebar that I have never communicated with since we became friends!

Normally when Facebook changes something, someone somewhere doesn’t like it and let’s face it, people don’t like change. On this occasion, that logic doesn’t apply as Facebook has certainly made a mess of an otherwise working function. Going on the feedback we received from you in this article all of it is negative with people calling for Facebook to change it back.

I remember when I first looked at it and noticed that there wasn’t a scroll bar and that people were in my list and offline, I had to double check at the date to make sure it wasn’t April 1st! The top comment we have received about Facebook chat is from Rikken who says “This change is an epic fail….” and we would have to agree. This would all be solved if they would simply add in a scroll bar to the chat sidebar…

If you were a Facebook developer, what would you have done differently? Is there anyone out there who actually likes the new changes? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.kalina Julie Richman Kalina

    A problem I have with this Side bar is, if you have a page up, and close the side bar, it automatically reloads the WHOLE page, and even then, the side bar pops back open. If you turn off chat, same thing. The Chat window, when launched will reload the whole page, if you open it, and if you have a game open on the screen, the chat box sits BEHIND the game screen, AND reloads the game your playing, so it actually interrupts any game you are in at the time, or if you are in the middle of posting on another user’s wall.. You lose what you’ve typed.. Facebook should really give the old format back, or allow us to CHOOSE the options we’d like, or at least make this new idea more customizable to each user. They need to stop assuming that their system knows us better than it does…. Most of the friends displayed on my chat, are people I never interact with and are Gamer friends only. I mainly come on to play games, and if this chat keeps interfering with my game progress, I see no reason to stay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000239660621 Amy Grimm

    I love the sidebar… However, think it should be an option in the profile to select which chat you’d like to use…