Chat messages are also viewable via the Messages (email) box.

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(A few friends and I are finding that the relevancy of the friends in this display is not that accurate!

) I rarely use the Facebook chat feature, so I thought perhaps the select list of friends was ones I email most often, but it’s not.

If you don’t see the sidebar, just click Chat in the bottom right corner of your screen, which shows the same list of friends you’ll find in your sidebar.” To chat with any friend in the new sidebar, click on their name and the chat window opens up.

You’ll know when a friend is available to chat depending on the icon next to their name: Even if friends aren’t available to chat, you can still send them a message and they can read it later.

You can clear the Chat Window by clicking the little cog icon in the Chat Window, then click “Clear Window” per the following screenshot: BUT, all that does is clear the Chat Window. So, what to do is click “See Full Conversation” which opens the chat history in your Messages area.

(You can also go to the Messages area any time and just search for your friend’s name).

The list shows both friends who are available to chat and friends who aren’t. I prefer Skype chat and limit myself there to my own team and a small group of core contacts. Maybe once in a blue moon when I happen to be camera ready anyway!

I appreciate there are great benefits to being able to live chat anytime, but for me I like to limit my instant availability and stay focused. ) There are now several changes to the way you use Facebook chat and edit your settings: Facebook states, “The sidebar is sensitive to the amount of free space you have on your screen, so it only appears if there’s enough room for it.

By the way, be careful of any chat messaging scams – they are out there.