I've always been an instant messaging fiend and lately I've found myself leaving the Trillian Astra alpha for Digsby. Lately Trillian has been a bit flakey for me. I had a really bizarre problem where whenever I have Trillian running and if I plugged in a USB device, Windows Media Player would crash. If you can follow that, you'll realize how bizarre it is. It took me a really long time to isolate that issue and that involved reinstalling the laptop. So I decided to give Digsby a try.
After all the random problems I had with Trillian, Digsby was a welcomed change. There's really nothing not to like about Digsby. Digsby was also a tool that more closely matched my life and interests. I love how it integrates all of my instant messengers and it also consolidates my social networks and emails all in one client. It's puts my entire communication universe all in one tool.
For the most part, Digsby works like most of the multi-headed instant messengers. You can log on to MSN, Gtalk, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber. It also includes integration with Facebook chat but it's slightly delayed especially if you have Facebook chat open on the browser as well. Although Trillian Alpha implemented the Facebook chat feature as well, I couldn't seem to get it to work without crashing. What makes Facebook chat integration important is really that it broadens the audience of the friends I can chat to. A lot of people who are hesitant to instant message using the traditional applications such as MSN or Yahoo are often more than happy to message using Facebook. Go figure. Both Pidgin and Trillian allow you to merge multiple contacts into one contact but Digsby is the only one that I've figured out how to priotize if a contact has multiple IMs. So for instance, if someone I know is on Yahoo, MSN and Gtalk but I prefer to talk to them on Gtalk whereever possible, I can make the individual's Gtalk client be the default.
Digsby built quite a powerful email client within it's product and the integration with the IM client is quite seamless. You can interact with any contact through email, IM or SMS from the chat window.
The way I set up Digsby is that I have my email and social network accounts show up as bars at the bottom of the IM client. When you hover on the account bar, it lists the last 50 odd interactions of each account. With the email accounts, I can mark an email as read, mark as spam and delete it.
Overall, I personally think Digsby is the new king of multiheaded Instant Messenger clients. It's done a great job capturing how people use it today by integrating instant messenger with email and social networks. It is the killer social networking tool of today.