How To Twitter Using IM on Linux & Windows

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Many like to twitter using IM (Instant Messenger) because it is very simple and fast to tweet and simple to get continuous updates on your topics of interest.

In the good old days Twitter used to provide IM support. You could use any Instant Messenger supporting Jabber (XMPP protocol) to connect to Twitter buddy ( on Gooogle GTalk server and twitter to your hearts content. For several months however Twitter has stopped supporting IM. How can we satiate our twitter crush during their downtime? There is a way.

Somsaks from Thailand created Microblog-Purple which allows you to use Pidgin Instant Messenger (supports all popular IM protocol) to receive twitter updates on IM as well as send your tweets. It works on both Windows & Linux variants. You can download it here.

Microblog Purple is available with an installer on Windows. So installing it on Windows is easy and I will not cover it.

It is available as .deb file (installable binary) for Debian Linux variants like Ubuntu which again is easy to install.

Linux users have to compile from the source code and install it manually. I am using it on Fedora Linux after some help from Sugree and quite some effort on my part primarily because installation on Linux is not documented at all.

How to Twitter using Pidgin on Linux

  1. First ensure that you have the latest version of pidgin. On Fedora Core I used the following command:
    yum –enablerepo=development update pidgin
  2. Download the source code in a directory and cd there from console
  3. Type the following to compile the code:
  4. Then you need to install it. To do that first login as superuser (using su) and then execute in the same directory:
    make install
  5. Restart pidgin and go to Account->Manage Accounts and click on Add.
  6. Choose Twitter as the protocol and provide your Twitter login & password. Choose to remember the password.
  7. Now you should see a new group called Twitter with as the user
  8. You can chat with the new account to send your tweets as well as receive tweets from the people you are following.


The biggest downside is that you cannot subscribe to keywords as with the original twitter service. Other than that it is fully functional and very handy to use.

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