Okay so I use AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and iChat for work. They work nicely and most people I know use them.
I use MSN sparingly and a few people I know use it but of course more importantly the other half uses it.
I was having problems using MSN for mac until I discovered that I could hook up MSN into iChat using the jabber protocol and MSN transport.
I’ve noticed a couple of developments recently in the IM space.
The trend to create site based messaging continues. Many of the newer social networking sites come with a proprietary messenger service. See imeem.com for example here and even myspace are looking to launch a messenger. Also a newer smarter trend for services that work on many platforms and move with you like indi – it’s not just a messenger it also is a storage utility for contacts and notes etc. See getindi.com for example.

My big question though is why would I need a new messenger? If you take email as an example the beauty of it is that you send a message to anyone on any other service and they receive it and respond.
With messengers there are 3 big players, MSN, AIM and ICQ. AIM and ICQ talk to each other and MSN and Yahoo! talk to each other.

Allegedly MSN and Yahoo! hold 44 per cent of the worldwide IM user base between them, with AOL (AIM and ICQ) taking, according to Radicati Group. Third parties such as Jabber aren’t statistically significant, with Google’s Jabber-based chat holding just 0.5 per cent. So really there are 2 big players, the AOL people and the MSN people.

If the big players refuse to talk to each other that leaves the space open for the likes of trillian and meebo.com. Trillian is software that allows you to sign into different IM services using one piece of software and Meebo is similar but web based so no download or install required (handy for internet cafes and travelers) and also means it is platform agnostic (you just need a supported web browser).

Meebo is my favourite in this space so far. I can use it on either of my Macs or my work laptop and with a single login I can be signed into MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! and Jabber and GTalk.
So until the big boys play nicely I’ll be using meebo.com

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