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MetaFilter Chat is a subsite where MetaFilter members can talk to each other in real time.


The main site hosts a brief introduction to Chat as well as an entry in the official FAQ about the subsite. Chat was originally set up as a space for MetaFilter members to discuss US election results in real-time. The chat server was deployed the night of November 5, 2012, and announced the following day. Chat was promoted to an official, full-time feature, on May 21, 2013.

How to Log In

The chat server uses the Jabber/XMPP protocol. The easiest way to try it out is to visit in your browser. Log in with your MetaFilter username and password.

You can also connect with various Jabber clients that support group chat. These include Adium, Pidgin, or Spark. On an iPhone, JabberB and OneTeam both work with the MeFi chat server. Android users can try Xabber.

Alternate clients require a Jabber ID to log in. Your MetaFilter Jabber ID is your username with a few changes. First, use all lowercase for your Jabber ID, even if your Metafilter username contains uppercase letters. A standard MetaFilter Jabber ID looks like this:

In addition, if your username contains spaces or punctuation, you'll need to escape those characters. So a name like Example User would login using:


If you use an alternate client, you'll also need to know the name of the group chat room:

You can join that room once you're connected to the chat server.


Connecting with Trillian is possible, but a little tricky. Here's how to connect to MetaFilter Chat with Trillian 5.2 on Windows:

  1. Go to Trillian preferences.
  2. Click Accounts.
  3. Add a new Jabber/XMPP account.
  4. Enter your MetaFilter Jabber ID (escaped as described above, if necessary).
  5. Enter your password, click Connect.
  6. Once connected, click the Jabber account icon and choose Browse for Conferences...
  7. Select 'MeFi', click Join.
  8. Under Nickname, make sure it matches your username exactly, click Join.

Xabber (Android)

  1. Download Xabber from Google Play.
  2. Open Xabber.
  3. Add account: type XMPP
  4. Enter your MetaFilter Jabber ID (escaped as described above, if necessary).
  5. Enter your password, etc.
  6. Xabber will log in and go to the main page.
  7. Use the menu button to Join Conference.
  8. Under Multi User Chat Server enter "".
  9. In the Conference field enter "mefi".
  10. In the Nick field enter your user name.
  11. Check the Join Conference box.
  12. Click Save.

Jabiru (Android)

Jabiru is a more stable Jabber/XMPP client for Android than Xabber, but can be hard to set up. This tutorial with screenshots by Michele in California can help.


  1. Log in to the Jabber server just like you'd add another account like Yahoo/AIM
  2. Once logged in, go to file - join group chat
  3. Once you get the window for that, select the jabber server from the pulldown and type these things in
 Chat Room Name: mefi
 Handle: your-username-in-lowercase

Click join and you should join the group chat.

Messages (Mac OS X client)

Note that Messages no longer supports Jabber or any other non-iMessage protocols as of macOS 10.14 Mojave.

  1. Open File -> Preferences (cmd-,(comma)).
  2. Click on the Accounts tab.
  3. Click the + symbol below the list box on the left, select "Other messages account...", and click Continue.
  4. From the Account Type menu, select Jabber. Enter your Metafilter username as described above, and password. Click Create.
  5. Close the Preferences window and confirm to save.
  6. Open File -> Go to Chat Room... (cmd-R).
  7. For Account, select For Room Name, enter mefi if it isn't already there.
  8. Click Go. The chat room will open in the main Messages window. To view it in its own window, right-click/ctrl-click the "mefi" tab and select Open Conversation in Separate Window.

See Also