How to Open a Chat on Facebook

By Contributor

Updated May 07, 2020

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.

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

Facebook chat.

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.

Facebook active friends online example.

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.

Facebook chat window.


Chat in a separate window by clicking on "Chat," going to the "Options" menu and clicking on "Pop-Out Chat."

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.