Clear Chat History returns to Facebook chats

Ronny Kerr · October 15, 2010 · Short URL:

After a short thread of angry user complaints arises, Facebook decides to restore missed feature

clear chat history comeback

Who says Facebook never listens to user complaints about site changes?

To coincide with big changes rolled out to Groups last week, Facebook has been tinkering with its in-site chat app, making the chat window bigger, squeezing profile pictures alongside sent messages, and making timestamps only visible on rollover. Another considerable change was the removal of a “Clear Chat History” button, which used to do just what it says.

In response to the button’s removal, users a week ago created a thread on the Facebook discussion board complaining the change for six pages until--amazingly--Facebook decided to bring back the feature.

Said the company in a statement:

We’ve been making a number of changes to optimize and simplify Facebook Chat over the past weeks. As part of the effort to improve Chat, we’ve been testing an interface without the ‘clear chat history’ link prominently displayed, since only a small number of people use it.

Based on the tests, we’ve decided to keep the ‘clear chat history’ link and to optimize it’s placement within the Chat interface. Given its low usage, we are placing it at the top of the Chat scroll -- where it is still easily accessible without cluttering UI space throughout the course of the chat. We believe this solution strikes a good balance between the many different interests of the millions of people on Facebook Chat.

Most of the users posting in the thread didn’t cite any specific rationale for their anger over the missing feature. It seems that the ability to clear a chat history was, quite simply, a well-liked and terribly-missed feature. And, of course, there are always some users who simply hate change.

While the “Clear Chat History” link has not reappeared in my own chat windows, it’s likely that it will be rolled back out slowly, as is the case with all updates on the site.

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