Do you use IM (instant messaging) to communicate with clients, friends or family? I do and I have a lot of contacts scattered across different protocols like Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Google Talk. Having to open and login to each protocol’s IM client is too much of a hassle but thanks to multi protocol instant messaging applications, I only need one program to access all my accounts and contacts.
There are numerous multi protocol IM clients like Trillian, Pidgin (formerly Gaim), Miranda, Adium (Mac only) and online ones like Meebo, Kool IM, eBuddy. I’ve tried most of them but the ones that I liked were Trillian and Pidgin. I used Trillian for quite a while but uninstalled it because it was a resource hog. I switched to Pidgin which was lighter and faster. Even though it lacked some features like video/audio chatting, I liked it and it worked for me. I even posted an article on how to upgrade Gaim to Pidgin on Ubuntu. I never thought I would stop using Pidgin, or so I thought.
The other day, I came across a new multi protocol IM client called Digsby. It was on private beta testing a couple months back and is now available to the public for free. I wasn’t really interested in trying it out or using it because I already had Pidgin, but eventually I ended up downloading and installing it on my machine. At first, I thought it was just another regular multi protocol IM client but after trying it out and going through its features, I realized that it was much better than the others I’ve previously tried and used.
- Multi protocol instant messaging – AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, and Jabber Accounts
- Email – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP accounts
- Social networks – Twitter, Facebook and Myspace
- Audio/Video Chat – support provided by TokBox
- File transfer manager
- Spell checker
- Block support – block contacts or
Conversation window themes
Social network integration
I’ve since uninstalled Pidgin and now use Digsby. So why did I switch? Here are some of the reasons why I switched and the features that I like about Digsby.
- I can view a snapshot of recent emails in each email account registered, or go to the inbox or compose a new email (opens email account in browser).
- I can send emails via the IM/conversation window.
- I can reply to IM’s via pop-up windows. Comes in handy when you’re multi-tasking.
- I can set my Facebook status and get notifications/updates from Facebook or Myspace.
- I can update my Twitter status, view the timeline, archives, favorites and reply to updates.
My most favorite feature is Digsby’s integration with Twitter. Sometimes, I forgot to login to Twitter and I miss some of the good stuff that other folks share/talk about on Twitter. Now, I won’t miss any updates and I don’t have to login each time because I can do all the things I need to do on Twitter via Digsby!
Aside from all these, there are a bunch of other stuff that I can customize to fit my needs and preference making it easier for me to do multi-tasking. Digsby may or may not work for you and the only way to find out is to try it out yourself. If you use IM a lot on different accounts, then you should consider using a cross-platform product like Digsby. Plus if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, with Digsby you won’t have to login to each site just to check for updates. Right now, Digsby is only available for Windows users but don’t fret Mac and Linux users, because the developers of Digsby are working on Mac and Linux versions which will be released soon. You can sign up here so that you’ll be notified once these versions become available.
Do you use a multi protocol IM client? What particular IM clients are you using or have tried using before? For those who are using or have tried Digsby, how do you like it so far? Please share your thoughts.
*images taken from Digsby
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