Nov 01 2010

Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.5 – Instant Messaging – Easter Egg

image_thumb31 Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.5 - Instant Messaging - Easter EggI’m still trying to find out what’s the deal with Thunderbird 3.1.5.

Another release of Mozilla’s Thunderbird has been placed in the hands of the public and I have yet to find any scrap of documentation to explain the vexing hidden feature of Thunderbird.

I’ll bet you didn’t even know about it!

Thunderbird has instant messaging built-in to it, but it’s like super secret, you only get setup options once and it’s not possible right now to get back to it, but it’s always visible when you go in to the Thunderbird address book.

image_thumb32 Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.5 - Instant Messaging - Easter EggThe latest version is 3.1.5, but I noticed this little feature back in July of 2009; in beta 3.3b.

I have been asking and awaiting the ability to Instant Messenger people from inside Thunderbird for a long time; or at least see their online status, if I’d like to contact them right then.

Here’s the thing about the function/feature/easter egg, you only get asked ONCE to setup.


Where is the function?!

To do this, go in to Thunderbird, choose address book and then right-click on the contact in the listing.

You see the option for Instant Message…

image_thumb33 Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.5 - Instant Messaging - Easter Egg

Then it’ll ask you WHICH Instant Messenger client do you want to use…

[I wish I could’ve gotten a screenshot, but I can’t get back there!!]

UPDATE: Some kind soul send this link in for the prompt…

Thanks, Derek.


I chose Digsby, but it doesn’t work with Thunderbird— apparently.

     Well, not that way…

And the fascinating part is that it’s looks as though the action of this is to launch the selected application with a parameter make an attempt to connect directly with that eMail address.

I tried it like this C:Program Files (x86)Digsbydigsby.exe, and it gave the same behavior— so from there I’d say that’s the default action.


Where is it documented?

I can’t find this feature/function documented ANYWHERE on the Thunderbird support site or forum. I don’t know if this is in there by mistake, or it’s just an unfinished function they’re working on, but seems that Thunderbird is/was trying to do something in the form of trying to keep you and your contacts closer.

I looked in the forums and they’ve never even heard of it. That’s pretty odd; even for Mozilla. I was really actually hoping to see Mozilla Raindrop in Thunderbird at some point.

Again, couldn’t find anything on this feature.


My questions…

So I’d guess my last question would be, do you know about it?

     Can you use it?

          Or do you know of any plans to expand upon it?


One can only hope that Thunderbird will eventually have Instant Messenger features built right in to it, to see if their contacts are online; if you want Instant Messenger then right away. The only other option was a plug-in called SamePlace, but they stopped support of the plug-in back in January 2010; very sad.


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr. 

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Pro.


zemified_c Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.5 - Instant Messaging - Easter Egg

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