How to add Facebook chat to iChat on Mac OS X

iChat LogoFacebook is the social media giant that is showing no signs of stopping. Apart from being a regular social media website for people to interact with their friends (and strangers, in some cases), Facebook has also been trying to get into the instant messaging game which has till now been dominated by Google’s GTalk and Yahoo’s Messenger.

Even though GTalk is relatively new compared to Yahoo messenger, it has quickly become the favorite instant messaging client of a lot of people because of two main reasons, in my opinion. The first reason is that the GTalk client itself is extremely light and efficient and the second reason, and I think this is the major one, is that the GTalk protocol is based on open standards, which allows users to log in to google’s instant messaging network using many of the excellent free and open source clients available such as Pidgin, Adium and the like, and not depend only on Google’s official client which as of this writing is only available for Windows.

Facebook has also now taken a similar approach in their quest for IM domination. They have recently launched an XMPP compatible gateway for their chat protocol, which basically means that you can now connect to and chat with your facebook buddies via any IM client that supports XMPP including the friendly iChat.

To add Facebook chat to iChat, go to the Preferences menu and click the ‘+’ button to add a new account to iChat.

Add new account to iChat

Select Jabber as the account type, type your Facebook username (which you can get from your Facebook Account Settings page) in the form username@chat.facebook.com, enter your Facebook password and under Server Options enter ‘chat.facebook.com‘ as the Server address and 5222 as the port. Keep the ‘Use ssl’ tick box unchecked.

Facebook chat settings for iChat

That’s it. You can now login to facebook chat and chat with all your facebook buddies right from iChat without having to login to the Facebook site.

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