Ask dotTechies: What instant messaging services do you use and what is the best instant messaging client?

When was instant messaging first created? I believe back in the 1960s. I, personally, first started instant messaging when my friend, back way in the olden days, introduced me to AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). To this day I still use AIM but have also branched out to other instant messaging services like MSN and Yahoo. Today instant messaging has grown to such a huge phenomenon, not only in the Ashraf household but throughout the whole world, it is said one of the largest sources of revenue for cell phone service providers is charging an instant message as a text message/SMS; this way customers unknowingly instant message from their cell phones all day and get billed for every instant message as a text message/SMS. (Sucks for the people who don’t have an unlimited texting/SMS plan!)

That being said, my poll for this week is along the lines of instant messaging: What instant messaging services do you use and what is the best instant messaging client? Because of the fact nowadays there are instant messaging clients which are not IM service providers in of themselves but rather a cohort of other popular instant messaging services, this week’s Ask dotTechies is broken up into two polls:

  • The first poll consists of asking what instant messaging services do you use. An instant messaging “service” is something that you must sign up a username for and can have your own friends/buddy list associated with that username. Instant messaging services are things like AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Facebook Chat, MySpace IM, ICQ, Google Talk, etc.
  • The second poll consists of asking what is the best instant messaging program. An instant messaging “client” is a program or  web service that allows users to use one or more instant messaging service. Instant messaging clients are programs or web services like AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk client, Digsby, Miranda, Trillian, Meebo, etc.

Feel free to only answer one poll but I do highly encourage participation in both polls:

NOTE: I recognize the fact many people use multiple different instant messaging services; I myself use multiple ones. Therefore, for the first poll everyone can select multiple services to vote for – just check the checkboxes of the services you want to vote for. The second poll, however, is limited to selecting one client as “the best”.

[poll id=”7″] [poll id=”8″]

Got anything to say about instant messaging? Let us know by posting in the comments below!

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