Instant messaging across different networks. Is it possible?
August 17, 2004 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Instant messaging across different networks. Is it possible? [mi]

I am trying to find a way to create a conversation from someone with a MSN account with someone with an AIM account and another with a Yahoo account for work purposes.

I looked at Trillian but I think I am misunderstanding the 'multi-network' aspect of the program or perhaps I'm just kind of stupid. Help.
posted by karmaville to Technology (6 answers total)
I recommend Miranda IM. You set the program up to login to all of your different accounts, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, etc. and then you can chat with anyone on any of those instant messaging networks. This is different from one client that is compatible with all networks... because that client does not exist. Unfortunately that doesn't look like it will be changing anytime soon either.
posted by banished at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2004

yeah, as far as I know there isn't any sort of client that can allow users with different IM services to converse with each other.

advise them to get trillian, which minimizes the number of clients they have to install, and have them sign up for accounts with whatever service is easiest (yahoo, if you ask me, due to decent name availability and the fact that tons of peopel already have yahoo mail.)

or maybe just set up an IRC channel.
posted by fishfucker at 11:03 AM on August 17, 2004

Response by poster: thanks. That's what I thought may be the case.
posted by karmaville at 11:08 AM on August 17, 2004

You can actually also look into's like Trillian, but open-source. Lots of plug-ins, skins, etc., and more importantly, it works pretty well.

It's still not going to address your problem, though--folks still need to be on a common network to do a group chat.
posted by LairBob at 11:54 AM on August 17, 2004

Just a second to what fishfucker said, no, you cannot take an AIM account and have it converse with an MSN account or anything like that. The IM companies/groups/product teams (depending) have a vested interest in NOT allowing that sort of interoperability, hoping that if you want to talk to Person X and they're not on your IM service of choice, you'll get them to sign up. And then there's one more person seeing your IM service's ads.

So, while there are plenty of excellent clients which let an individual use multiple IM accounts on different services, you still need accounts on said services in order to converse with anyone else on that particualr network.

...Of course they're all free, and with one of those multi-network clients it's not exactly a pain to add another account, so there's no reason why two people who have different IM accounts cannot talk to one another. It's literally a 5 minute ordeal to get a new AIM/MSN/Yahoo!IM account :P
posted by cyrusdogstar at 2:02 PM on August 17, 2004

It's not impossible, in the sense that I've done it (I setup an MSN to IRC gateway once and an MSN to Yahoo gateway. It royally blew though. There's no good way to do it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 2:58 PM on August 17, 2004

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