Share files with friends while chatting using Qnext
Two of the most popular open source instant messaging clients, Pidgin (formerly Gaim) and Kopete, can work with multiple protocols, but neither is a great option when it comes to sharing files with friends. For that, try Qnext, a multi-protocol IM client with which you can share files with not only IM buddies but also contacts in your address book.
Unlike Kopete and Pidgin, which are open source, Qnext, which is written in Java, is free to download, but proprietary and closed source. It makes money by displaying advertisements in the Qnext client and in other places, such as on the page that lists your shared files. But Qnext offers innovative methods for sharing files between users, such as making image slideshows or music playlists. To top it all off, Qnext users can also interact and share files with people who don't use the application.
Installing Qnext is a piece of cake. Just grab the compressed tarball, inflate it with bunzip2 qnextsetup.tar.bz2, untar it with tar qnextsetup.tar, change into the qnext/ directory, and launch Qnext with ./qnext. Once the application is running, it'll ask you to log in to the Qnext network. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free from within the app itself.