fTalk: Chat from your desktop

fTalk is a free application that connects to your Facebook account and lets you talk with your friends without ever having to open a browser window.

Installation & Requirements

Although the setup is very fast, the installer will try to force some third-party software like toolbars on you. You can simply uncheck their respective boxes and proceed with the installation though if you do not want them installed on your computer. The supported operating systems Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 as well as Mac OS.

Interface

Anyone who has used an instant messaging service before will feel familiar with the application at once. In the main window you can see your friends, divided into Online and Offline categories. In the bottom of the main interface window, you can write a new status that will be displayed on your profile. The formatting is quite limited but at least you can do it directly from the application without opening your browser.

To start chatting with someone, simply double click on their names. It will open the chat window and you can start messaging them right away. What is also interesting is that the application will retrieve your chat logs from Facebook and display the older messages as well. The chat features are more limited than what is currently available on Facebook. For example, you cannot send files to your contacts in any way. Of course, you can easily open a Facebook message from within fTalk and send it from there. You can also put your friends in a category called Close Friends and configure specific notifications for them.

The chat feature is not the only tool that the application offers. When you right click on a friend’s name, you will have a variety of options available. You can view their profiles and send them a message from Facebook, which will open your browser and connect you to your account. However, you can also view their photos directly from fTalk. The image viewing interface is pretty neat and loads very fast so you never have to open your browser. All of those features are also available directly from the chat window along with the option to call and video call your friends.

Pros

-Fast installation
-Seamless integration with Facebook
-The ability to view photos and change your status within fTalk
-Calling and video calling support

Cons

-Somewhat limited chat features

Conclusion

For those of you who use Facebook a lot to chat with friends but not really browse their status updates, then fTalk is most certainly for you. Although some of the features are limited you can still do quite a lot and the sheer convenience of it is worth it.