An end to using multi-IM clients…

I admit to a little bit of geeky sadness.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I’m on several different IM services. For the past fifteen years or so, I’ve been accessing them via third-party clients that could support multiple services simultaneously. I started with Pidgin, but then transferred to Trillian some years back, especially when Trillian released an iOS app. However, this past weekend, I uninstalled Trillian from all of my devices.

To be perfectly blunt, there wasn’t a need for it anymore, as it only hosted a single IM service I still used.

The first IM service I removed from it was Skype, as changes Microsoft made to the compatibility layer resulted in Trillian simply being unable to connect to the service. Shortly afterwards, MSN Messenger stopped working in the iOS client; by that point Skype worked for both contacting both Skype and MSN accounts, so I installed the Skype iOS client and deleted MSN Messenger from my Trillian account. (I already had the Skype desktop app for video calls, which Trillian didn’t support.) The next service I removed was Facebook Messenger, as it stopped working properly in Trillian and I would get notifications about messages from the Facebook app anyway.

The final straw came when Yahoo announced that they were retiring their desktop Messenger app, and they noted in their FAQ that third-party clients would no longer be able to connect to the service. At that point everyone I had been talking to via Yahoo had already switched over to Google Hangouts, and I found that the only contact I had online on my AIM account was someone I hadn’t spoken to in several years. The decision was made, Google Hangouts was installed onto my phone and tablet, and Trillian was uninstalled.

On one hand, it’s a shame because it tended to be convenient to talk to people on different services using one program. On the other hand, as Yahoo Messenger was the only IM service I used where you could only be signed on via one device at a time, it was a tad annoying and removing it made using cross-device IM a little easier. Streamlining my IM profile was a good thing, as well, as I didn’t need to be signing into AIM or Yahoo if I no longer used them.

In the end, I may be a bit wistful about the lack of cross-compatibility and using multiple programs instead of one, but there’s not really much I can do about it all things considered. It did give me an excuse to eliminate services I was no longer using; I’m thinking that, in the long run, that consolidation will make this more a positive. :-)