© 2011 Ugur Akinci
Here are your instant messaging alternatives for greater personal productivity:
Free download. Granddaddy of all instant messaging platforms. A.k.a. AOL Instant Messenger. Works on all OS platforms including iPads, iPhones, and Android phones.
Download the application and start chatting with hundreds of millions of AIM users. Group Chat feature allows multiple individuals to contribute to the conversation.
If you don’t have access to a desktop, you can also use online AIM Express. Update Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, foursquare and more using the built-in Lifestream feature.
Free download. MSN Messenger is part of Windows Live Essentials, which includes free programs for sharing photos, movies, instant messaging, email, blogging, family safety, and more.
Can get updates from Facebook and similar social marketing websites. Can share photos and get instant updates from your other MSN pals. Available for smart phones.
Free download. Has features very similar to both AIM and MSN messenger but not compatible with any of them. You need to have your own separate account for Yahoo Messenger. It’s video chat feature is praised by industry observers fore its relative ease of use. Available both for Windows and Mac OS as well as iPhones. At this writing Yahoo offers an online web version as well.
No download required. Works online, within your browser. Ideal if you’d like to chat from a library of coffee-shop location. Provides social marketing networking (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace). Available for all OS, including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android mobile platforms. Allows access to all major IM networks. You add the Meebo Bar to your browser for easy chat access. Share web sites, photos, content with a single click on the Meebo Bar. Meebo Rooms allow easy congregation of like-minded friends across the Internet.
Free download. Pidgin is cool because it allows you access MULTIPLE chat networks at the same time including AIM, MSN and Yahoo messnger networks. Available for all popular OS platforms. Pidgin is open source, so you are not bombarded with bandwidth-stealing ads (like on Yahoo network). This means, of you know how to do it, you can recode Pidgin to suit your specific needs. Available in 100 languages. One drawback is: to be able to use some of the features, you may need to download plug-ins.
Free download. Available on all OS and mobile platforms including iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Works and interfaces with all major IM and social networks including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google Talk, etc. It provides activity history records, file transfer, video and photo sharing, status and away-mode updates, text chat, etc. Probably the most sophisticated of all messenger services. Regardless of the machine you use, Trillian automatically remembers your connections and settings. Has 450 features. Too many to count here.