Chat with Facebook Friends using Pidgin

I actually haven’t known that Facebook chat has supported the XMPP standards for quite some time now. Now it enables desktop chat clients like my favorite Pidgin to connect to your Facebook friends without a need for any plugin (which sometimes break).

Thanks to How-To Geek, now I know.

What is Pidgin?

Pidgin is an easy to use and free chat client used by millions. Connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and more chat networks all at once.

I have long been an advocate of Pidgin as a desktop chat client. The reason why?

  • It’s free and open source;
  • It’s cross-platform – can be used in Windows, Mac and Linux;
  • It’s lightweight – that is according to my standards. It consumes less memory while running in the background — less memory compared to the native YM client and/or Spark IM Client;
  • It keeps you logged at Yahoo! Messenger, Gtalk, AIM, MSN, Jabber/XMPP, Facebook, etc. all at once. You can even have two or more instances of Yahoo! Messenger accounts running at the same time;
  • You may opt to have a log of all your conversations. This is especially helpful since Yahoo! Messenger does not support logging chat messages by nature;
  • It’s a desktop client – thus new messages pop up (or at least has a way of notifying you, depending on your settings). You don’t have to keep open and visiting a web browser to check for new messages;

Adding Your Facebook Account to Pidgin

Note: I’ve done away with the how-to of installing Pidgin. Just head over to the official site, download and install the application. You should be up and running in no time.

The How-To Geek tutorial, which was quite outdated, required you to do some tricks/hacks in order to keep your Facebook account running in your Pidgin client.

I don’t know when it did officially support Facebook chat, but in the latest version of Pidgin (which I’m currently running, of course), version 2.7.10, it’s already in one of the Protocols drop-down option in adding a new account.

Your login credentials should be:

Username
This should be your Facebook username, that which you can find at the end of the url of your profile page. It’s not the email address that you usually input when logging in to Facebook. If you have not yet created a Facebook username, then I guess it’s high time that you create one. Follow the How-To Geek tutorials to read more about this Facebook username.

Domain
Leave it as is (i.e., chat.facebook.com).

Password
Your Facebook password.

And you should be done. Other settings should have been pre-configured for your new Facebook account added to Pidgin.

If there are any problems encountered, just drop a comment below.

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