This past week I needed to connect up to the chat server and gave Empathy a try. After a few minutes of fiddling around with the settings, I could not get it to work. Part of the problem was that I was not familiar with the set-up in Empathy, and the set up screens did not match-up at all with the generic set of instructions that are provided by my employer.
I am not sure why there was a change in applications in this latest release of Ubuntu. Pidgin seemed to work just fine. I found it in the Software Center and installed Pidgin. The nice thing I found was that you are able to remove Empathy as well. In the past, some applications in Ubuntu were tied to the ubuntu-gnome-desktop package, and individual packages were not able to be removed.
I am back to using Pidgin. In this case, I am just to lazy to track down how to set up Empathy and Pidgin properly. But Empathy, you'll still get no sympathy from me!