Use Twitter Like An IM Protocol With Prpltwtr [Pidgin, Empathy - Includes Saved Searches, More!]

Prpltwtr is a Pidgin (or Empathy) plugin which makes Twitter feel a lot like an IM: you can see your followers in the list (this can be disabled and is recommended to disable it if you have a lot of followers) as well as saved searches and so on. Direct messages will open in new conversation tabs, you can reply, retweet and much more!