If You Use Digsby As Your IM Client, You Might Want To Consider Switching

Why? According to LifeHacker, this popular instant messaging client has a dark side to it:

Digsby takes bundled crapware to a whole different level, however. During the install you are prompted for not one, not two, but six different pieces of junk software, and then for good measure they offer to replace your home page with something terrible and take your search engine down a notch.


You can debate the merits of bundled crapware, and brush away the despicable nature of preying on those lacking adequate tech skills, but did you realize that Digsby is also using your processor to make money?

That’s right. Buried in the Terms of Service that almost nobody ever bothers reading, there’s this exploiting-the-fine-print gem explaining that they will use your CPU to run distributed computing problems that make them money

That’s just craptastic. Though you can turn of the CPU hogging feature. The “off switch” is located behind the “Support Digsby” menu item.

Now to be fair, Digsby has responded to this by putting out a new build of their product that makes this more clear:

We are pushing out a release later today that will include the following changes:

  • We are moving the entire “Support Digsby” section out of the “Help” menu and into the preferences window so the option to enable/disable the research module is easier to find
  • Digsby will show a popup notification telling you about the module with a “Learn More” button which links to a page describing it in detail including instructions for how to enable/disable it.  The popup will be “sticky” so it will not disappear until you click “Learn More” or “Close” to ensure that users don’t accidentally miss it.

We want to make it completely clear to all users so Digsby is not doing anything you don’t want it to do.  The above changes have been on our to do list but the article really opened our eyes about how few people know about this functionality.  Our goal is to create the world’s best IM client and social media tool. The only way to accomplish that goal is with transparency and communication so we can keep working with you to make a better product.

That’s great. But if you did that in the first place and let the user choose to opt-in, you wouldn’t have to do damage control now.

So if you’re ticked about this and want a IM client that isn’t made by Yahoo or Microsoft, what do you do? I can recommend two things.

First is Miranda (Windows only). It’s incredibly lightweight, uses the default Windows UI, and has an incredibly active plugin community. Then there’s Pidgin (multiplatform) which is also an excellent IM which is also very extensible. Best of all, they’re free and offer no added crap.

When companies thing they can just exploit their users for their own game, and then make good when they get caught doing it, the best thing to do is to switch to someone who won’t do that to you. That my friends is the only way they’ll learn not to be so dumb.

3 Responses to “If You Use Digsby As Your IM Client, You Might Want To Consider Switching”

  1. Considering I have never heard of it, I am good 🙂

  2. Nefarious Wheel Says:

    Google Chat is pretty good, integrated with your GMail contacts list. It’s over there on the left hand side of your GMail page.

  3. Dude Cool Says:

    Thanks for telling me about Miranda!!! it blows the doors off of the other two IM clients. And looks like it came with Vista too! SO cool!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: