All-in-one instant messengers are a convenient way to connect to friends on different instant messenger services. Does that convenience come at a price? Here are some of the pros and cons of these applications.
- You don't have to use multiple clients, each with different features and functions.
- You can free up your computer resources by running one instant messaging application instead of several.
- You can view all your instant messaging contacts into one list.
- Depending on which application you're using, you can also use it to connect to IRC channels, social networking systems, and voice and video services.
- You might find the list of protocols confusing and you might not be sure what to do with the ones you don't recognize.
- You might find the user interface cluttered if there are more features in it than you intend to use.
- You might find the user interface confusing if it has features you're not familiar with.
- You might lose some protocol-specific features you like from the proprietary clients, such as webcam sharing or animated avatars.
- Without different user interfaces to distinguish between services, you could accidentally send an embarrassing personal message to a professional contact.
- The application might have better support for some protocols than for others.
- Like with some proprietary clients, you may have to pay a fee if you want to avoid advertisements.
For links to lots more information about instant messengers, aim your Web browser at the next page.