These days, very few people have just one IM account. Most of us have a handful of them, with different contacts for different purposes or just leftover from periods of time when that particular service was the most popular or useful one to use. However if you have multiple IM accounts, it’s generally easier to use some sort of multi-service IM login to control them all these days. Then you can just forget about who you know on whichever service and get on with the chatting.
If you’re like me though, desktop clients like Adium get forgotten, despite how great they are. You feel as if you’re always too busy trying to work, so you never open up the app. However, if you’re automatically logged in to chat when you open your browser, those serendipitous conversations will just happen naturally. This is where add-ons like the eBuddy Web Messenger come in really handy!
Get eBuddy Web Messenger For Chrome
You can easily install the Chrome eBuddy Web Messenger add-on from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, eBuddy Web Messenger will open up in a new Chrome window. Essentially, the experience within that window will be much like using the eBuddy Web Messenger website interface, however the extension integrates eBuddy into Chrome somewhat, too.
Set-Up of eBuddy Web Messenger
From the eBuddy window, you can set up your eBuddy account exactly as you would in the web interface. This means you can start by signing into any IM account, then add more IM accounts from there, like Facebook, Google Talk, ICQ, AIM, Windows Live Messenger (MSN) and Yahoo. They’ll all be linked together by eBuddy so that in future you need only sign into one account. You can also set up a username and photo just for eBuddy if you wish, as well as a theme and friend grouping.
Please note, Google thought that my eBuddy login was unauthorised for a short while, but it took a good half an hour for them to let me know that (when finally a warning popped up in my Gmail account). So, if you can’t log in to your Google Talk account straight away, wait a while and see if Google blocked it, then let them know you intended to do this and try again.
As most IM services will allow video and audio chat, you should also quickly authorise eBuddy to use your default camera and microphone. Then you’ll be ready to roll!
Chrome Notifications for eBuddy
The most useful integration you will notice about the eBuddy Web Messenger Chrome add-on is the notifications. As soon as you log in to eBuddy via the Chrome extension you’ll be asked if you want to see notifications in Chrome. I advise you to say yes to this, then adjust your notification settings within the eBuddy interface to suit your needs, even if that means turning them off entirely.
Chrome notifications will pop-up on top of the main window, then disappear after a few seconds if you don’t click on them. They are generally not too intrusive, but they can get a bit much if you have too many notifications. If you have a lot of contacts, this may be the case, especially with notifications of when people come online. To adjust your notification settings, head to the eBuddy window, click on your name and choose Options > Notifications. From here you can disable or re-enable notifications for when contacts come online and get notifications of chat messages.
Chrome Alternatives to eBuddy Web Messenger
Obviously, eBuddy is not the only messenger application for Chrome that allows you to add most of your other IM accounts. There are alternatives, such as IM+, Numbuzz and IMO Messenger which will all do a great job of letting you chat to your friends. In the end it comes down to the specific features of each service and which one you like best. Personally, I feel eBuddy does a fantastic job, and I can see why it’s listed as one of MakeUseOf’s Best Chrome Add-Ons. Plus, with the corresponding apps for smartphones and tablets, I can keep my chatting experiences simple and similar across all platforms. If you’re an Android user, check out our review of the eBuddy Android application while you’re here. The apps make a great pair!
What’s your take on eBuddy Messenger for Chrome? Which features do you love? Which features do you disable?