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New Facebook messages is the straw that broke the camel's back
October 25, 2012 10:41 AM   Subscribe

My old friends from high school and I have been using a Facebook message thread to stay in touch over the past few years since we graduated. However, the new interface is really driving us crazy. Help us find an alternative?

What choices do we have? I think we want a real-time chat feature, instead of just a forum. Extra features like threading or topics could be useful if they were integrated well though.

We've tried twitter, glassboard, and a few other apps which just haven't worked better than the (incredibly convenient) Facebook.

Please help sever our dependence to Facebook?
posted by Strass to Technology (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Why not use something that supports XMPP like Google Talk?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2012


Why not use something that supports XMPP like Google Talk?

The web interface is kinda nice and it means you can see messages that were posted while you were offline.
posted by Strass at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


There was a question a few weeks ago along these lines.
posted by knile at 10:55 AM on October 25, 2012


There was a question a few weeks ago along these lines.

Yeah none of those are what I'm looking for. Glassboard was the closest but we didn't like it... IRC might work but I'm not sure I want to deal with the hassle of admin.
posted by Strass at 10:59 AM on October 25, 2012


My friends and I use a Skype group conversation to stay in touch. There's no threading, but all the messages can be seen once you log on, even ones that were added while you were offline, and there's the bonus of being able to do a group call with whomever's around.
posted by daelin at 11:06 AM on October 25, 2012


You mentioned the answers that were given in the other thread were things you weren't interested in.... did you consider the option that that OP was using, the private Facebook group? I think it's far better than using the Messages function.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:15 AM on October 25, 2012


GroupMe and their new web interface is free and awesome. I use it every day with techie and non-techie people. Disclaimer: Lots of my friends work there.
posted by AaRdVarK at 11:19 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


If someone wants to be really technically adventurous enough to set up their own server (possibly through AWS?), I've found that the Lily CMC is awesome for what you're trying to do. It's like IRC, but there's a running record of your conversation on the server, which can be reviewed at any time.

Google Wave used to be good for that, as well. But, now it's also a DIY open-source install.

Also, less likely, would Google plus work? The "hangout" concept may help with this.
posted by Citrus at 11:29 AM on October 25, 2012


Google Plus is all kinds of awesome for stuff like this. Just make a circle for that group and share away, join a hangout when you're online.

Plus consistently improves while Facebook keeps getting worse, and still people stick with Facebook. Go figure.
posted by quarterframer at 11:32 AM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Strass: "Why not use something that supports XMPP like Google Talk?

The web interface is kinda nice and it means you can see messages that were posted while you were offline
"

I'm not clear - these are your objections against Google Talk? What's better about the Facebook interface? And you can see messages posted while you were offline on Google Talk too.
posted by turkeyphant at 11:39 AM on October 25, 2012


Would you be into trying something like Basecamp?
posted by spunweb at 12:11 PM on October 25, 2012


Yeah, this is sort of exactly what Google+ was meant for. Start a circle, invite everyone, and then just post messages limited to that circle. Everyone will be able to catch up with what was posted in the circle previously.
Downside: I don't know that google does a great job archiving.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:19 PM on October 25, 2012


You mentioned the answers that were given in the other thread were things you weren't interested in.... did you consider the option that that OP was using, the private Facebook group? I think it's far better than using the Messages function.

My friends and I have been using a private group on Facebook for various planning purposes and it seems to work well enough. Real time, mobile app, notifications, familiar interface. Different threads (i.e. separate wall posts with tons of comments). The mobile app is also pretty good at only showing the most recent comments on a long thread.
posted by dobi at 12:37 PM on October 25, 2012


I stay in touch with a group of friends through a private group on Facebook. It doesn't technically have a real time chat function, but ends up working that way when a bunch of us are online and responding to the same comment thread. We have been using it for several months and it works well for us.
posted by apricot at 1:22 PM on October 25, 2012


I would look into QuickTopic. It can allow you to quickly create new pages for branching topics.
posted by yclipse at 1:46 PM on October 25, 2012


IRC might work but I'm not sure I want to deal with the hassle of admin.
It's been a while for me in such waters, but instead of running your own server, you could have a private channel on any existing network.

I guess some things that matter are: Do you want to be able to refer to a sort of archive later? Is it the sort of conversation that, if you miss a few hours of it, you want to be able to scroll back through?
posted by knile at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2012


Is it the sort of conversation that, if you miss a few hours of it, you want to be able to scroll back through?

Exactly this. My university's IM client has a logger you can reach online which may work but not all my friends are good at computer -.-;;
posted by Strass at 2:12 PM on October 25, 2012


Citrus mentioned Google Wave, and when I research it more I found Kune. The demo site is a little bit incomprehensible to me though. Does anybody have experience with Kune?
posted by Strass at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2012


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