How to Open a Chat on Facebook

by Lara Webster
You can only chat with Facebook friends who are online.

You can only chat with Facebook friends who are online.

Facebook chat is a way to privately interact with your friends in real time. Instead of sending a private message to a friend and waiting for her to respond, initiate a chat conversation when she is online. Facebook chat sends messages in just an instant, and show you when your friend is actively typing a response to you. When you receive an incoming chat conversation, a small window will appear at the bottom of your screen.

Check your chat status on the Facebook homepage. Go to the bottom of the left-hand toolbar--if you are online, the thumbnails of friends available for chat will appear. If you are not online, click the "Go Online" link.

Click on the "Chat" icon in the bottom right-hand corner of any Facebook screen.

Look for friends with a green dot next to their name. These friends are online and actively available for chat. A friend with a moon next to his name is online but idle, meaning he is not actively navigating on Facebook, so he may not respond to your message.

Click on the name of a friend in the list. Click on the text field at the bottom of the chat window that opens.

Type your message and hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard.

Tips

  • check Chat in a separate window by clicking on "Chat," going to the "Options" menu and clicking on "Pop-Out Chat."
  • check If you have created multiple friend lists, you may go online for each list individually by clicking on "Chat" and then clicking on the circle next to a list. You are online when the circle slides to the left and a patch of green appears beneath it.

About the Author

Lara Webster has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been featured on Relationships in the Raw, The Nursery Book, Spark Trust and several travel-related websites. Webster holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in mass communication and media studies, both from San Diego State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Dan Kitwood/Getty Images News/Getty Images