Trillian is a Good IM Service

3 min read

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armaina's avatar
Maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't, but for those unaware, Trillian started as a 3rd party client for IM services such as ICQ, YIM, and AIM. Its purpose was to give you one place to sign into multiple IM services as well as extra looks and features not provided by the original IM clients. As it grew it started it's own proprietary IM service, which currently works to this day. And it's Good. And you should get it.

If you're looking for a classic IM service along the lines of AIM, YIM or MSN, I highly recommend getting Trillian. Heck I recommend it as a form of emergency contact. I can easily use Trillian any time any other service is down. It's really comforting to know I have a reliable service Just In Case. But all that aside, I just prefer the old messaging style system because sometimes I just don't want to be immediately available to 30+ different group chats and/or servers all at the same time from the moment I log in. Sometimes I just want a few focused chat windows with a few people and Trillian is currently the only service that truly provides that.

Notable features about Trillian:
- Very low resource
- No Phone Number Needed
- It is compatible with screen readers
- Plain Text Chat Logs
- Classic, Customizable Status Messages
- IM's in separate windows rather than all in one interface. Can also be combined in tabbed windows.
- Good 'ol fashioned skins!
- Display Names separate from User Name
- Using the older Astra skins gets you access to the 'draw' features some of you might be familiar with from MSN
- Unlike AIM, you still have to authorize users before they can IM you, so no random IMs just because someone knows your UN. (though you can turn this off if you like)

- no cloud save logs for free accounts, so it can be a problem going from mobile to computer unless your computer is on at the same time to save the logs locally.
- Can't change the themes for custom skins on version 5.3 and up because of a weird change they made which ties customization to a Pro feature. But they do let you download and use older versions of the client without much issue.
- Group chats function like AIM style group chats. Fine for small groups, not for big ones. Discord is still the best at this.

Steps on how to apply custom skins to your Trillian if it's not readily available.
You have to change the Trillian INI file manually, setting skin=skins\filename, save the file and reload the application. Any Trillian Astra compatible skin will work! I recommend these 2 skins……
Both of them have multiple color options and should have at least something for visibility…
this is a nice theme but only comes in one color but gives it that classic MSN look

Oh yeah
If you want to add me, I'm Armaina on Trillian
What a shock, I know :U
© 2019 - 2024 armaina
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nikonraccoon's avatar
I should also point out that the open source project Pidgin is still going, and has features similar to Trillian.
They do have addons for almost all the chat protocols, and it's what I use to chat on telegram and Facebook messenger. (and they do have a plugin for Trillian chat.)