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Digsby makes Facebook chat work like it should

Want Facebook chat without Facebook? Check out Digsby.

Do-it-all communication app Digsby (download) put out an important update yesterday that's made this blogger's life easier. It took Facebook's Web-only chat service and integrated it into a desktop application, something that Gabtastik (which I looked at yesterday) did to a limited degree by loading it in a standalone Webkit-powered mini browser.

While residing outside of people's primary browsers, Gabtastik's efforts were still running the pop-out version of normal FB chat. Digsby's solution is far more powerful. Despite the fact there are no API plugs for chat (for now), you can maintain conversations with several folks just like you would in any normal IM app. And because Digsby plugs into other IM networks, you can have chats with your buddies from AIM, Yahoo, and more, all within the same app.

The biggest winners in this situation are power users, who are getting a huge leg up over FB chat users who are accessing the app from their browsers if only for the notification options. You can get pop-ups on when your friends come online, even if your browser is minimized, as well as view a past transcript of chatter.

In addition to adding FB chat, Digsby also fixed several problems with Yahoo Mail, which wasn't working because of the two different variations of the mail app that Yahoo's got floating around. Since we last wrote about it, the service also added an autoupdater so you'll never have to download a new version with installer every time there's a new version.

While Digbsy continues to push forward, Cerulean Studios' Trillian is still not yet at an open beta for its upcoming Astra product (coverage). I've been using (and enjoying) it on a daily basis, but services like Digsby have been tempting me if only for the social-tracking features that remove the need for multiple aggregation apps.

Bring out all the best college humor with your Facebook buddies using Digsby's new Facebook chat. CNET Networks