How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: What Instant Messenger Client Do You Use?

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If you are online chances are that you keep an instant messenger running while working or browsing. This week we want to know which instant messenger client you use.


Instant messengers come in a large variety based on either open source work or from a tie-in with a particular company like Microsoft or Google. Your online activities will definitely have an affect on which instant messenger you choose. Some people only need a messenger for chatting with coworkers or friends while others want built-in social integration for their messenger. Location can also have an impact on which instant messenger you use based on the online services that are popular in that area. The great thing is that it is easy to find an instant messenger that works for you.

Which instant messenger do you use? Do you only use one or multiple instant messengers depending on whether you are at work or home? Let us know in the comments!

Update: Adium has been added to the poll.

[polldaddy poll=”3535845″]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 08/18/10

Comments (61)

  1. Richtpt

    I use It’s so great! I can connect to ALL of my accounts in one place – including Facebook! Now instead of running several different programs and web pages, I go to one web page and have them all there.

  2. Johnny

    All chat is blocked at work :(

  3. David Levine

    I haven’t used any form of instant messaging in about 3 years. All of my communication is through face-to-face, phone, email, Twitter, and Facebook.

  4. Soli

    Adium… like, I guess, many Mac users…

    too bad it was not included in the list

  5. Ed :-)

  6. Sara

    I use gTalk through Trillian.

  7. Nienhouse

    Pidgin, Adium, and Kopete.

  8. Pyronova

    I use emesene on my PC and IM+ on my iPod Touch.

  9. Mark

    Digsby @ work to support MSN (work), AIM (personal), and gChat (personal)

    Trillian @ home for AIM

  10. Nathan

    Skype. But only because everyone at work uses it too. Other than work I don’t IM at all. Face-to-face, phone, email, texting, Facebook is enough for my communications needs.

  11. Mike

    How about adding “none” to the poll?

  12. Eli

    What a Windows-centric list! ICQ, really?!? Has anyone used ICQ since the 90s? Where’s Empathy, Kopete, Adium… even Facebook?

  13. Matthew Guay

    I usually use Pidgin, but actually have been using the new Windows Live Messenger Wave 4 more lately. If it added Gtalk support, I would switch over … the Facebook integration is already great.

    @David Levine – Just curious, but do you use Facebook chat inside Facebook? That has definitely taken over most of my personal online communications over the last year..

  14. Paul

    I use aMSN on Linux and fring on movil

  15. Lady Fitzgerald

    I’m with Mike; “None” should have been included in the poll. I don’t use IM. I resent its intrusion. If I’m busy with something, I’m not going to interrupt what I’m doing to answer one. For the same reason, I will not interrupt someone by sending an IM. If someone wants to contact me, there is email and, if it is urgent, telephone.

  16. Pedro Rodriguez

    I have always used Windows Live Messenger, but with the thing they are removing from the actual stable version, I doubt if i’m going to change to the new one. Also because I like the actual version, but anyways, Microsoft’s decission.

  17. infmom

    Pidgin on the PC, Adium on the Mac.

  18. Isotopes

    Yahoo Messenger on all iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, and PC Laptop.

  19. Julian

    What about iChat? Does that fall under AIM?

  20. Chronosome

    AIM via Meebo.

  21. gyffes

    Adium, wot? Pidgin on my linuxboxes, but it feels a poor-man’s Adium.

  22. Daniel

    What about Skype?

  23. Mahdi


  24. Smetad Anarkist

    Windows Live!

  25. RichS

    The Windows Live Messenger beta client, but mainly chat on the Facebook IM network.
    Perhaps there needs to be distinction between client, and what network of friends you chat with.

  26. B. Moore

    You are comparing apples to oranges…..

    I’m sorry mutli service appz like digsby & trillian cannot be compared to gtalk or aim they can only be compared to each other… multi service vs. multi service…. single service vs. single service.

    So please fix your poll to make it into 2 separate polls!

  27. Meena Bassem

    Digsby for desktop for web

  28. cz-man

    Miranda IM!

  29. Riley Quinn

    I have a windows live account and I originally use windows live then moved onto but I use a service that no one has mentioned its called Raptr is connects with all of them + all of the gaming services such as Xbox Live and PSN

  30. sebastian


  31. salinger

    I used digsby, but then switched to pidgin because digsby misses individual buddy notifications, thats one of the most important things to me, I use chat for work issues and I have to know when the other person is online, rather than checking it up all the time. Otherwise its very distracting.

  32. A.J.

    I use Skype, Google Talk, Windows Live, and AIM.

  33. brodiemac

    What is instant messaging? Is that, like, texting for the computer? ;-)

  34. ed

    I only made this trip to vote NONE.

  35. Mary

    Yup. None for me too. My gmail is virtually instant and I can respond as quickly – or as not-ly – as I want.

  36. Camilo Martin

    ICQ but just because my girlfriend has it, I’ve thought of switching to Miranda or Pidgin.

  37. Alvin Sim

    pidgin for me :)

  38. Loser

    It’s almost a culture in China.
    10000000Active Users.

  39. Anon

    Whut da fuck? I cant believe NOONE mentioned QIP so far!
    Used ICQ for a week when I first stumbled over it, and instantly changed to QIP.

  40. rtd

    What are you talking about? Yahoo messenger is like the BEST AND ONLY IM you ever need to use. ever. dot.
    Why you guys use anything else? Just try yahoo messenger once and you will fall in love. to send a message all you need to do is double click on a person’s name and type whatever and hit enter. Thats all.! How can it be easier?

  41. Jasmine

    I’ll vote for a NONE .

  42. bollox2u

    Digsby is spyware, be warned

  43. theoldfarter

    Why leave out Skype? There are 17 million online with it right now, according to my Skype symbol.

  44. skater-andy

    shocked that nimbuzz isnt there!!!

  45. rtd

    + 1 for yaho messenger. The best and only one any one needs to used. theoldfarter says skype. but that;s like soooooooooooooo complex. In yahoo just type a smiley it will come in skype i saw no button for smiley!!!!!!! everything else is very very complex. Any one out there, and deciding, just listen to me. I’ve over 10 years in software. I am a admininstrator. I say yahoo is best. Don’t listen to other guys.

  46. Spike

    Anyone still use carrier pigoen? Am I the only one left? Answer me please! I never get Answers! Whaaaaaa!

  47. Nyein

    GMAIL is the best, cuz like it has video calling feature, chat ever other sutff.

  48. Ade

    I used to love Pidgin to bits, but somehow 2.7 stopped working with our office proxy, no matter what I did to it. I switched to Digsby and put up with its bloat until Trillian 5 beta came. Happily running Trillian 5 and loving it.

  49. anticafe

    At first is Yahoo Messenger (2 years ago), later is Window Live Messenger (at work), now is Skype (at work) and Meebo (at home)

  50. Alan Ralph

    Trillian Astra – does exactly what I need, doesn’t get in my face too much. :)

  51. salinger

    Guys, no digsby is not bloated, and its not spyware. It just is not free and uses slightly different methods of earning money. If digsby is spyware, please stop using google, because google does much more than digsby. Digsby even tells you before updates, does google do that?

  52. asdf-chan

    why should google tell my what they updated on the searchengine?

    I use pidgin

  53. jon

    20 million on Skype now – should have been on the list!

  54. blop

    Primary yahoo, backup windows messenger

  55. rtd

    Trillian and digsby are SPYWARE! don’t use it. USE ONLY YAHOO. YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING ELSE.

  56. ssc73

    I never used to use IM’s at all but now that the new Live Messenger integrates social networks, I have been using it a little. But to be honest, I don’t like people knowing I’m online. It’s always the people I don’t want to talk to that seem to want to talk! LOL

  57. ubuntu

    qutim the best for linux

  58. anderson


  59. bubs353

    Windows live and Facebook chat

  60. rtd

    Just use Yahoo. Everything else is spyware and will try to use your unused processor speed for their benifit. And THAT WILL SLOW YOUR SYSTEM DOWN. I KNOW THIS BECAUSE MY BROTHER IS A GENIUS IN COMPUTERS AND HE TOLD ME..

  61. Genea028

    Other = None

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