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If you want instant message aggregation, there are a number of applications. You could try Trillian, Pidgin or any number of other lightweight multi-messaging applications. Or you could check out Digsby and for me there is no choice.

I have been using Digsby since it was in early beta, and it has rapidly became a favourite of mine. Digsby is a messaging application that integrates instant messaging with easy access to your email and social networks:

Here are some of the best features of Digsby in my opinion:


The Digsby team encourages people to customize the application how they wish. This includes skins, themes, layout, notifications and conversations.


Most elements can be modified in some way. This includes status
(the coloured dots), messaging network logos, buddy avatars and names.

If you are using a number of major messaging networks then you have the options to control what information to be displayed to contacts on each, such as an “away” status for MSN contacts and a status showing ‘available’ for Google Talk.

Messaging + Email + Social Networks

The biggest problem with bringing social networks to the desktop is often the hugely disruptive notifications you constantly receive (ahem… Twitter).

Out of the applications I have tried, Digsby has maybe the least disruptive way of providing notifications. If you would prefer no pop-up notifications at all, you can choose to have them displayed down on your task bar which is pretty handy.image

Conversations are logged and archived if you choose. If you need to find something later you can search for text or browse dates.

A contact on two of your networks can become one merged contact, and re-named if you wish, so you no longer have to put up with people changing their display names every 2 minutes.

Digsby can also be synchronized between installations so any preferences and themes are not lost.

Digsby is still in beta, and not the trendy Web 2.0 beta. You may notice occasional dropouts and bugs, but updates are frequent – sometimes as often as once a week, and performance has been steadily improving with time. Well worth having a look at.

Are you using Digsby for instant messaging or have you used it? What do you think of it? Is it a worthy contender to Trillian and Pidgin? What do you like and hate about it? What features do you like the best? Tell us in the comments!

  1. Holla
    August 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    This program is hands down the best IM i have ever used. Trillian was way to bloated and not as user friendly.Fast easy way to update twitter and FB and even check whats happening there is a great feature. Emailing isnt that advanced but good enough to send a quick message without opening firefox. Visual experience is better than that of pidgin. The only quib i have of the program is that it isnt add-on supported yet and you cant do what you like. But the developers are working on perfecting the API before releasing it to public.

  2. Muhammad
    February 16, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Digsby is actually very underrated. Compared to Trillian and the other "all-in-one" IM programs, Digsby does the best job. The first time I got it, comparing it to my last favorite Trillian it seemed very primitive but when I found the option to almost change everything that I see and use within digsby, it really amazed me. The last version of trillian pro I used didn't include myspace, twitter, or facebook. The email support wasn't as catchy as Digsby's.

    This is the best program for IMing together.

  3. satrio
    June 16, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    i gave up on digsby since my laptop only have 256megs ram and it consume about 30-40% of it... but i'm still waiting for the next release...

  4. UFGrayMatter
    May 8, 2008 at 1:34 am

    New Digsby Log Converter Website:


  5. Matt
    April 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I heard about it maybe a month or so ago. Downloaded it but it seemed pretty clunky and used a lot of memory so I went back to Pidgin. I did like some of the features, I will look into in the future probably but I don't think it was quite ready for prime-time when I tried it out.

    • Laurence John
      April 28, 2008 at 8:03 pm

      Yea it did.... when I downloaded it about a 2 months ago it kept using 40% of my RAM so I stopped using it for a while too... however that has long been fixed... so It's worth checking out again.

  6. Pat
    April 27, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    The one thing I don't like about digsby is that you have to connect to their server in order to use it. I know that it is suppose to be a convenience that you can have all the same settings regardless of which computer you use, but I still would rather not have all my account passwords sitting there. Is this an unfounded fear? Otherwise I love the look of it though.

  7. Sherri
    April 27, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I started with Trillain (became too bloated), then Miranda (stopped working for some unknown reason, despite reinstalling), then Pidgin (worked great). I tried Digsby after reading about it someplace, mostly because I read that it had Pop3/Imap and webmail notification (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL). I've been running Digsby ever since. I rarely run Thunderbird now, since I can open my webmail from Digsby. After setting up the messenger and mail accounts, I added my Twitter acct, so now I don't have to run a separate program for that.

    I had problems with the automatic updates because I run Digsby from a user account instead of master/admin. After signing onto master just to update a few times, I turned off "Start with Windows" option, and set up my Digsby shortcut to sign in as a different user so I could run Digsby as admin from my user acct. Now it updates fine.

    All those different services having their own icons in taskbar bugged me, so I turned that off in Preferences | Accounts | Where to Show.

    Since their last update, Yahoo webmail stopped working for me, although Yahoo Messenger works fine. I haven't heard back from them after submitting a bug report. I still love Digsby, but wish my Yahoo webmail would come back.

  8. mikeful
    April 27, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    I have tested Digsby for few days. It's pretty nice all-around software but isn't great in anything. IM side is OK but as email client it's too simple. I'll keep using Pidgin+Thunderbird combo but I'd like to see this developed further.

    • Laurence John
      April 27, 2008 at 8:44 pm

      Yes very true... After you look closely at Digsby you will realize that there is a large amount of fairly standard messaging features that are missing... many of these have been compiled by the Digsby team here:

      Digsby will continue to improve... so if it isn't right for you now... give a few more months, maybe a year and think you will see a big difference. At this point in time I think the developers are most involved in optimizing the application and ironing out bugs.

  9. Keith
    April 27, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    The only thing thats keeping me from switching to digsby is all of my current logs under pidgin. If there was a way to merge the logs I would switch over.

    • Chris
      April 28, 2008 at 4:41 pm

      digsby dev chris here.

      We don't have a log converter, it's true, but one of our active users made one.
      see Digsby Log Converter.

      • UFGrayMatter
        April 29, 2008 at 8:53 am

        Hey, that's me! :)

  10. Joe Boomer
    April 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    It is strange that, despite being very internet and tech savy, I'm not really into this whole social network thing. I don't have a facebook account. I think Myspace is a waste of time. I only use tumble upon to find website, i never thumb up a discovery. I have a digg account only to block out all the useless comments. However, it seems like we're getting more apps like this which focus more on all the social websites out there. Oh, look at me rambling again about social media again. On digsby's defense, I think customizing it is great, and I don't know very many, if any messaging programs that allow you to do that. If I ever have to deal with chatting with more than just my friends, I'll think I'll look into this.

    • Laurence John
      April 27, 2008 at 8:38 pm

      Well I actually agree with you somewhat... social networks can be incredibly frustrating.. setting up profiles, finding friends, wasting time with notifications etc etc. It was not until I began using two programs... Digsby and Flock... that I actually felt like I had could control all these networks.

      Instead of trying to keep a handle on where everything is, whats going on, who did what you can just have everything aggregated together and just keep an eye out on whats happening. If I want to talk to someone, change my status or whatever then it can be done straight from these applications.

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