What is your preferred chat platform?

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Chat has changed a lot over the years. It plays a vital role in communicating and collaborating. I remember using ICQ—do you remember that annoying sound when someone messaged you? Uh-Oh!

While the underlying technology and protocols haven't seen much change, the tools we use have certainly come and gone. The introduction of micro-blogging has seen chat move out of the chat room to highly-visable on platforms like Gmail and Salesforce. But we're curious...

Which tool is your go-to chat preference? If you could only pick one, even though we know many of you use more than one, which would it be? Tell us what you use and why.

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and Opensource.com community publications.


Skype, by far my preference for chats. Been using it for almost 10 years now.

It's always been easy to setup group chats, which I use(d) frequently during team meetings in open source projects. Chatting with people from all over the globe. Benefits of Skype have always been that you could switch to voice, share screens and files etc.

I agree, I've used IRC for more that I should have, I use Skype for quite some time now, not ten years yet, and is far more advanced and conformable than Twitter/Facebook, Google Hangouts are getting better, but still not good enough for daily basis use.

I recently started to use ICQ, due it's really popular in Russian and Eastern European countries, it has come a long way from what it was at the beginning.

Gotta tell you though, ICQ was my first IM :) Still got the 'uh oh' sound in my brain...

And "live typing," which displayed individual characters as users were entering them! Now there's a convention that never quite caught on.

Exactly the same as Robin and for the same reasons! Although I do use twitter as well.

Skype is by FAR the best chat option for me and my friends. How is there not a good Skype replacement yet? Jitsi is buggy in ways that my "normal" friends find unacceptable, same with its lower quality video. Where are all of the XMPP video chat clients?

I could never get into IRC or ICQ or whatever it was called. It was almost too anonymous. I never knew how to find anyone to chat with through there. I was a number and that was annoying. I use yahoo and even less msn because it was simple and I understood it and there was a chat room so you could find people to chat up and choose who you talked to or didn't and you get to know them by how they interacted with others in the room.

My preferred chat platform is the bar in the local pub. :D

I find myself using Gmail and Facebook chat the most. Many of my connections are constantly in their email or FB (web or phone) so it's just 1 extra step.

That is a big +, Gmail inline chat, no need to have any software installed. When you are in your mail, it sure is easy to jump on that. Using that myself, next to Skype.

IRC is still the king. However, Twitter works well for chatting in the open. It also serves as an easy option for cultivating a personal learning network for reluctant or timid computer users.

I really like Skype for its ease of use and capabilities. Chat, video, audio, all, some, 1. But isn't OpenId the future in chat? I'm tired of different chat platforms just like I am tired of different logins. Give me one customizable interface that gives me my most important tools to go with my my custom homepage interface.

This is why I tried Pidgin for a while. You are able to configure different IM account with this client. But... no Skype. So stopped using that.

skype, for me too.
i feel like this poll makes little sense as is. i never heard of chatter before, and skype should definitely be its own item (does it go under IM, or under "Other", cause it is traditionally more voice oriented then IM?).
i would love to have an open alternative for skype, and i know that there were efforts, but even me as a techie never got to install and setup one of them.
skype is nice, cause normal people use it. i see no way for it to be replaced by an open alternative (which i would love to see). even if it were as easy to use and stable and all as skype itsself (which nothing is, so far), why would people switch?

for an open source dev though, IRC is clearly a must. it is just not good for chatting with "normal" people.

silc, for those private chats. At work, GChat.

Skype is required at my workplace, so ... Skype. :)


I just don't use chat at all. The only one I've <em>ever</em> used was IRC, but I don't think I've used that in 2013.

skype and twitter(whose messaging service are now written in Scala)..:)

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