TL;DR: Franz is a cross-platform free messaging app that corrals the web versions so you can have them all in one container. http://www.meetfranz.com/
I was introduced to Franz relatively recently, and while there’s a few things about Franz that irritate me, it’s still fair to say that Franz has made my life easier.
I should probably explain.
If you’re anything like me – or even close – you have more than one messaging application. Messenger. Hangouts. Slack. Skype. There’s lots more – WeChat, WhatsApp, Telegram, and bunch I don’t know.
Franz handles fourteen of them. And you can have multiple accounts open for each of them.
Thing is, Franz is kind of a cheat. It’s not something like the purple-facebook plugin for Pidgin or hangups and yakyak for Hangouts. Instead, they’ve used the Electron framework to act as a kind of container for the web versions of these applications.
I hate having a window open for each of several messaging services. And given how the biggest ones (Facebook and Hangouts) have moved away from open standards, it’s become more and more difficult to use something like Pidgin or Bitlbee to manage them efficiently. Franz does a very satisfactory job of ensuring that I get the messages, that I get notifications on the desktop, and that I don’t have half a dozen windows cluttering my screen.
It’s also free, and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Hopefully you’ll find Franz as helpful as I did.