I hate instant messaging. Not because I don’t like talking to people, but because there are so many networks I have to be part of, and once I’m signed up I have to use this program or that program, which means I have to have a ton of programs running, or I can wait a while and get a program that does a half decent job at implementing many different networks and then have a few more programs running to open what that program doesn’t support. So I log off, and never log back in again. I would really like to use IM, I would really like to be more available that way, but it’s such a hassle.
That’s why I have big hopes for iMessage. If Apple were to open iMessage for extension, the providers of the IM networks themselves could extend it to support their network. Then I could have all the chats in one place, and be signed in to these different networks so that if there’s an incoming Skype call, I’m available on Skype, without having the app open (or knowing that I do), and if I get an instant message from something as ancient as ICQ, it gets into the message list. Grouping accounts together on one contact would be nice also. No more logging in and out of IMs, just always on, and perhaps set a do-not-disturb mode for whenever I go to sleep. Man I hope they open up iMessage for extension, that would be awesome!