I sent a cheezburgered issue to facebook about the new forced chat application.
—–Original Message to Facebook—–
From: Christy Hoffman
Subject: INBOX: DO NOT WANT
Description of problem: I do not want chat. I can opt out of all the other apps, why not this one, it could be the most annoying yet.
—–End Original Message to Facebook—–
While you cannot completely remove the Facebook Chat client from your profile, you can turn it off. If you would like to stop receiving chat messages, click the Chat icon in the bottom right corner of your Facebook page and select the “Go Offline” link. While you are “Offline” you will not appear in anyone else’s Chat. You cannot completely remove the Chat feature because you will still receive notifications about your Facebook profile through the Notifications icon, even if you are set to offline on Chat.
If you wish to start using Chat again, just click the “Go Online” link and this will allow your friends to contact you. Also, please keep in mind that these chat availability settings are not related to the pre-existing “Online Status” that allows friends to see if you are signed into Facebook. Let me know if you have further questions.
Thanks for contacting Facebook, Skye-User Operations-Facebook
—–End Reply from Facebook—–
And in the meantime I had found a nifty & simple userscript – Facebook Chat Killer – that did the trick of at least hiding the stupid bar.
I said I would test it, so here’s how it works: Before logging in to facebook, disable Facebook Chat Killer. If you have greasemonkey displayed in your status bar (the gray thingie at the bottom) you can RIGHT click to toggle userscripts on and off. Only userscripts that apply to the page you are currently browsing will show up in the popup, so go to a facebook page first so it will show. Then login, let the stupid thing load, then toggle the chat to off. Then enable Facebook Chat Killer and refresh or go to whatever in facebook how you would normally.
If you use Facebook Chat Killer without disabling chat first, friends can pop in at you. The most annoying thing was that while testing, when a friend poped in, it took over my tab header and flashed “SpongeBob is messaging” (OK I don’t remember exactly what it said, and I would have taken it if it had been SpongeBob!)
Or if you do like chat but just want the extra real estate that the bar takes up, use it like that on purpose.
Chat for me has always been a huge distraction, and let’s face it I’m easily distracted enough as it is.
So if you already use Firefox & Greasemonkey, this should be a no-brainer for ya. If I’ve totally geeked you over, let me know and if the demand is warranted, I’ll dig up some instructions. Ok nevermind this looks decent
What is firefox and how to install:
Facebook Chat Killer:
It was useful to me to know that chat availability settings are not related to the pre-existing “Online Status”. And unless they are going to change it, you can still always get to your notifications thru http://www.facebook.com/home.php – click the facebook logo on the upper LEFT (it was like four days before I noticed that!)
But there’s a lot of room for improvement on facebook’s part to make this much friendlier and less invasive. As chat rolls out there will likely be more userscripts or more development, I keep an eye on them, but let me know others if you see them.
EDIT: For really pretty instructions about just turning chat on and off see the brilliant diva of networking Mari Smith here: