Striving to keep in touch with our family, friends, colleagues and business contacts we are forced to manage accounts for various e-mail services, instant messengers and social networks. When you only use one or two methods of communication from the ones mentioned above….things are pretty simple, but for the unfortunate ones that depend on more of them, things can quickly get out of control.
On a positive note, the software market delivers a few programs that can significantly ease keeping track of our online communication methods. One of them is Digsby, a freeware multiprotocol instant messaging client allowing you to manage all your e-mail, IM and social network accounts in a simple, effortless manner and most importantly…all of this from within a single application.
Installation & Requirements
Digsby’s installation completes in just a couple of minutes. The installer is less than 20 Kb in size and the actual install process requires the user to perform the minimum amount of settings: just select if you want to install Digsby for all the users (administrator rights required), for a single user or portable (such as for a USB drive or other portable device).
Even if Digsby is currently a Windows-only application, its developers are planning to release versions for Mac and Linux operating systems in the near future. There’s no use worrying about minimum hardware requirements: this powerful IM client has very modest requirements and doesn’t need too much of your system’s resources to work.
People that switch to Digsby from other instant messengers will find its interface very familiar. Its layout is not to different from most other similar apps, but that’s not a bad thing: it only means you’ll quickly get the hang of it even if you used other IM clients for a long time before opting for Digsby.
After you create a Digsby account and choose to migrate your e-mail, IM and social network accounts, the Buddy List (the actual interface) will come to life. It’s nothing fancy, but it is clean and easy to read. On the top, the standard menu is formed of categories for Digsby, View, Tools and Help.
Under the Digsby menu you will be able to access and manage all the accounts you currently have added, change your status, add contacts and other IM related actions. The View sections is dedicated to customizing the current layout by changing the skin, showing/hiding the menu bar and various contact groups as well as grouping and sorting options. From the Tools menu you can quickly access Digsby Preferences, the place where you can fine tune every aspect of the program search contacts in your Buddy List and access File Transfer and Chat History. The Help section comprises access to the Digsby online documentation and forums, a form designed for submitting bug reports, another one for suggesting features, Support Digsby (you can do that in many ways from setting Digsby search engine as your homepage to inviting friends on Digsby via e-mail and social networks) and last but not least, the About page from which you can view the currently installed version and check for updates.
For people that like customizing the appearance of their IM client, Digsby will definitely not disappoint them. Under the Preferences menu, users can access three different Application Themes with color variants and a larger number of Conversation Themes with even more variants.
This quick overview of Digsby’s interface barely scratches the surface. Even if you will need to browse its huge pile of features for a while you will surely find everything you need to customize Digsby to your personal preferences and manage all your favorite instant messaging and e-mail accounts as well as social networks.
– Lightweight, stable application.
– Clean, well-organized interface with many skins and other customization options.
– Tabbed conversation windows for instant messaging.
– Use and manage contact lists for AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, and Facebook Chat accounts.
– Allows you to manage Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL/AIM Mail, IMAP, and POP e-mail accounts.
– Keep in touch with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn all from within Digsby.
– Full support is provided for group chats, video/audio chats and file sharing.
– You can synchronize all the settings performed on Digsby between multiple computers and installations.
– In order to use all your current accounts, you will also need a Digsby account.
– Chat windows contain adware banners at the bottom.
– Certain updates can increase Digsby’s resource usage.
Trillian Astra is another great multiprotocol IM client with a sleek, modern interface offering versions for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, Blackberry and even a browser version. The list of apps similar to Digsby doesn’t end here: Pidgin is also a very popular instant-messaging program with a minimalistic yet feature-rich interface that is a strong competitor of Digsby thanks to its extendable functionality via plugins and availability for Windows, Linux and other UNIX operating systems.
Coming back to Windows-only apps we also have the popular Miranda IM that boasts a large number of free download-able skins and hundreds of add-ons which makes it one of the most flexible instant messengers currently available.
All of these apps, including Digsby, are free to use and feature similar capabilities but organized in a very different manner and with equally distinct appearances.
Digsby is a truly complete program for instant messaging and online socializing: it offers the possibility to manage and organize your favorite e-mail, IM and social network accounts in a single place, an excellent solution that prevents your system from becoming bloated with dozens of applications and saves all the wasted time spent on logging in and out of all the communication tools and websites you are using.