How to Chat with Multiple Friends or a Group on Facebook

At the top of each Facebook chat window is a blue bar displaying the name of the person you’re chatting with and two or three icons. The one you might or might not have is the video icon, which is covered shortly. The two you will definitely have are the gear and X icons.

The X, farthest to the right, simply allows you to close the chat window at any time. Don’t worry about losing the contents of your conversation. Everything said is saved in your Inbox.

The gear icon, when clicked, opens a menu of options. These options include the following:

  • Add Files: Just like when you’re sending a message from the Inbox, you can select this option to search your computer for files you want to share.

  • Add Friends to Chat: If you’re discussing something with a friend and think that you need the opinion of someone else, you can add her to the chat, which opens a new group chat window.

  • Turn Off Chat for <Friend>: Friends may be more likely to chat with you when they see that you’re online. If any friend in particular is popping up a little too often, you can turn off chat for that individual person. From that point on, she will no longer see you in the Chat menu.

  • See Full Conversation: Selecting this option brings you back to the Inbox view of your entire conversation history.

  • Mute Conversation: Just like with the Inbox, you may find a chat thread growing annoying or irrelevant. You can mute the conversation to stop being notified whenever someone replies.

  • Clear Window: If you find yourself wading through too much history at a time, selecting this option gives you a blank slate of a chat window. This won’t delete the contents permanently, though. Your full message history is still saved in your Inbox.

  • Report as Spam or Abuse: If you’re getting odd messages from a friend promoting something he wouldn’t normally promote, there’s a chance his account was phished, meaning someone who shouldn't have gained access to it. Report the spam messages to protect yourself, your friend, and other users from having the same thing happen to them.

How to chat with a bunch of people

To get a group chat going, follow these steps:

  1. Begin a chat with a friend by selecting her name from the Chat menu.

    This opens a chat window.

  2. Click the gear icon to open the Chat Options menu.

  3. Select the Add Friends to Chat option.

    This opens a text box at the top of your existing chat window.

  4. Type the name of the friend you want to add into this text box.

    Facebook autocompletes as you type. As soon as your friend’s name appears, you can select it. You can add more than one friend at this time if you want.

  5. Click Done.

    This opens an entirely new chat window for the group conversation. All messages sent in that Chat menu are sent to all participants.

This chat window has an additional icon, the Groups icon of overlapping people. Click this icon at any point to add even more participants to your group chat.

How to Use Group chat

A Facebook group is a way for a group of people to connect and share in the same place on Facebook. But it bears mentioning here that one of the useful features of Groups is the capability to start message threads and chats with the members of your group.

To start a group chat, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the group’s page on Facebook.

  2. On the right side of the group page, click the link that says Message.

    This opens a window that allows you to select from the group’s members.

  3. Select the group members you want to be part of the chat.

    Click the faces of all the people you want included in the message thread. If you want everyone included, click Select All at the bottom of the window.

  4. Click the Start Chat button.

    A chat window opens at the bottom of the screen. Use it as you would any chat window.

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