Do You Care About Instant Messaging Any More?

Do You Care About Instant Messaging Any More?

Now that we have SMS and Facebook, are the old instant messaging methods becoming obsolete? We recently posted power-up guides for Pidgin and Adium that were apparently of little interest to most people, despite both being the most popular chat clients on their respective platforms. It seems that IM just may not matter that much anymore.

So, we want to know: how are you communicating quickly these days? Are you still using traditional IM clients on the desktop, have you relegated that task to the web, are you happy with SMS, or is it something else entirely? Share your approach in the comments.


  • SMS, Facebook and Skype these days 🙂 And it’s nice to be on Facebook in the browser only, so when you shut the browser down you’re off. I only check Facebook manually on my phone so I don’t have to be interrupted all the time.

  • I use IM extensively, especially Google Talk as it’s built in to Android phones and works very well. Why use SMS if reliable portable IM is available? I also use Pidgin as my preferred desktop client and only use Skype as a legacy platform that older clients seem to prefer.

  • IM is only just taking off in the corporate space IMO, unified communications with voice/video/IM Chat/presence is exploding at a rapid pace. Cisco’s Jabber platform, Microsoft’s LYNC have both accelerated this at a crazy space.

    And cisco just launched their Skype competitor so its about to get more interesting…. (although there doesn’t seem to be any news about it today…)

  • Facebook Chat *is* instant messaging.

    To answer your question, Google Talk. If I’m on the desktop, I always have Gmail open anyway. If I’m on the go, the Talk app works exactly the same as the Messaging app.

  • Facebook chat can be pretty awful at times, it got much better once it started sending things to the messages folder (so messages weren’t lost), but it can still be hard to notice when people say stuff (and it only gets worse when you have multiple tabs or other applications signed into it too).

    If everyone still used WLM I’d be on there regularly, but as it is FB is about as close as I get these days.

  • Pidgin is basically just an IRC client for me – which I do use pretty frequently. Back in school you’d get home and jump on ICQ (and later MSN) and keep chatting with your friends, share links etc. but people other than geeks just fell out of this habit.

    Nowadays my WLM window only ever has people connected to FB chat, but being online is such an ordinary thing that being “available” no longer means “please talk to me! ^_^”. It’s just soemthing that happens while you check your status and play some Bejeweled Blitz.

  • Oh man. I’ve been predicting the death of SMS for five years now, and you go writing about it killing IM? 🙁

    I try to prefer email for most things. It’s more flexible and everybody I know (even mum) has a smartphone that receives their mail. IM is nice, but too fractured. Jabber, skype and MSN will probably cover everybody I talk to, but by the time I’ve got all of that running, my battery life is down to three and a half minutes.

  • As much as I totally despise FB IM and messages because I find it totally unreliable. I am using the Facebook plugin for Trillian and I only get half my messages using either that or the XMPP version of it. Seems Facebook have ALOT of work to do. Depending on how the other person replies to your IM is depending weather or not I get the messages in Trillian or not. If I don’t notice it I have to click the message button on the top of the FB page (if it appears as sometimes it doesent and I have to check it manually) and then continue the rest of the convo in the ‘mail’ version as even the popup down the bottom of FB fails.

    Other than that the flavour of the year seems to be Skype.. Allot of people seem to be using that more and more even that seems to have its off days too however.

    Lots of people are moving away from MSN however that may change with the new way Windows 8 is integrating its chat/messaging systems.

  • I used to be big on instant messengers, but not so much anymore. I find it easier to use Facebook chat to keep up-to-date with everyone. But when it comes to webcam, Skype is the best. I do have MSN still installed on the computer, but I probably use it once every six months at the most.

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