How to Use Facebook Home Chat Heads

For those who remember Max Headroom, Facebook Home's new chat heads feature won't seem totally unfamiliar. Chat heads is a messaging feature of Facebook's new Android overlay called Home, which allows disembodied profile pictures to follow you into other apps.

For instance, if you receive a Facebook Messenger message or SMS while you're playing a game on your phone, a tiny circular picture of your friend's face will appear in the top right of your screen with a pop-up video-style text bubble. You can then tap to engage in a conversation with that person. If you jump over to your browser to search, their head automatically comes with you. If you get multiple messages from different people, they will appear as a group at the top of the screen. 

So what else can this handy feature do? If you tap and hold the circle of your friend's face, you can move them around the screen to wherever is out of your way. You also can tap their face and swipe them toward the bottom to end a conversation. 

To start a conversation from your cover feed, simply tap and drag your profile picture to the Messenger icon on the left side of the screen. Tap the + symbol to start a new message. To start a message or text, type your friend's name or phone number. 

Find chat heads annoying? You can get rid of them by tapping your phone's menu button. Then tap Home Settings > Messenger Settings > Notifications, and uncheck Chat Heads.  

Anna Attkisson
Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson heads up features and special projects for, in addition to covering social networking and accessories. She joined the LAPTOP staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.