You can IM someone 12,500 miles away from you instantly from a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a netbook, an iPad, and just about any cell (mobile) phone on Earth. Yahoo Messenger, AOL's AIM, and MSN Messenger are a few big names in instant messaging. And now MySpace and Facebook have instant messaging that you can use when you're on their websites. There are many others to boot.
One of the problems with instant messaging is that one friend might have AIM, and another might have Yahoo IM, while your girlfriend might use ICQ, and your office uses Google Talk. Having more than one chat program open on your computer isn’t going to hurt it, but it isn’t going to speed it up. There is an answer to this age-old conundrum and its name is Pidgin.
What is Pidgin? Pidgin is an open source Instant Messaging client that can help you tie together into one program all your various instant messaging accounts. Download the free software, which is constantly updated by user/programmers from all over the world, add your instant messaging accounts and you’re a multilingual chatting machine. You can chat with any of your friends or family members in one of at least 15 different instant messaging services, including Facebook and Skype which require a simple plugin download.
Following are some advantages to using Pidgin:
- It consolidates all your IM programs into one interface.
- You don't need a web browser open to use it as you do with MySpace, Yahoo InBox IM, and Facebook.
- It doesn't have annoying advertisements like Yahoo, and MySpace and AIM.
- The interface is simpler than most IM programs.
- It’s free.
There are some disadvantages too:
- Doesn't support video or audio chat/calling (though that feature is said to be on deck in the future)
- Doesn't support animated smileys, winks, Flirts, pokes, or buzzes
If you want to simplify your online chat life, Pidgin is the program that does it.