Pidgin 2.12.0 removes several messaging protocols that are either deprecated or are no longer being maintained:
- Facebook XMPP
- Yahoo! Japan
All other chat protocols, such as AIM, are not affected.
If you (somehow) still use the deprecated services you’ll see them listed as ‘unknown’ in the account list after upgrading Pidgin. You should go ahead and delete them because, bluntly, you sure as heck can’t continue using them.
The “good: news is that you can still use some of these services in Pidgin thanks to newer, third-party plugins.
For example, Purple Facebook lets you log in and chat to Facebook contacts; Skype4Pidgin funnels the messaging element of Skype for Web into the Pidgin UI, and FunYahoo++ lets you continue chatting through the newer Yahoo! chat protocol.
Other Changes in Pidgin 2.12.0
Other changes in Pidgin 2.12.0, released on March 9, 2017, includes various security and performance improvements; instances of d.pidgin.im have been replaced with developer.pidgin.im; and IRC messages can (once again) be over 500 characters long, though will get ‘split into parts and sent one by one.’
The days of standards compliant chat protocols is gone. The age of federated messaging services seems to be over, with WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Wire, Allo, Skype, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and countless others opting to “own” the entire experience.
It means apps like Pidgin have largely lost their appeal — through not fault of their own. Ubuntu dropped the Empathy instant messenger from its default app selection in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
Install Pidgin 2.12 on Ubuntu
Now for the difficult bit: installing Pidgin on Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 17.04 has the very latest version of Pidgin available through Ubuntu Software. If you’re already running a development milestone of 17.04 (or reading this post after April 13) you can install it by hitting the button below:
ut earlier versions of Ubuntu only carry older versions.
The official Pidgin PPA was ditched several years ago, and no Flatpak, AppImage or Snap of Pidgin is available (or at least that i’m aware of).
So, to install Pidgin 2.12 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or 16.10 you’re going to need to build it from source. You’ll find more information on how to do this on the Pidgin website.