For me, and I believe for many others as well, it is becoming more cumbersome, more complex and increasingly difficult to manage the increasing number of social communication apps that we have an account for and use on a frequent basis. I have to open each one of them next to each other to view and be able to reply to my messages. And you probably have the same problem. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring all these applications together under one roof and maintain everything from just one social management environment. Franz, the brainchild of the developer Stefan Malzner, is such an application that runs on all desktop platforms. So let’s see if Franz offers an effective messaging integration that will simplify our life and improve your productivity.
Franz is primarily a messaging integration application that is available for Linux, Windows and macOS. Starting from version 5 of Franz it is open source. The source code is available on Github under the Apache 2 License. The Franz applications combines an enormous number of chat and messaging services, but also productivity services like Google calendar and Google Keep, into one single user friendly application.
Many single applications, like WhatsApp, do not allow you to use multiple accounts without having to log out from one and log in with the other account. But Franz allows you to add each ser
vice as many times as you need, so it enables you to manage multiple business and private accounts all at the same time in one environment.
Franz offers a simple, clean and user centered interface. Your services are nicely presented in a vertical bar. The services icons show the number of new messages so you immediately see if there is something new to check.
You can easily copy and paste content like photos from one messaging service to another.
To be able to use Franz you need to create a Franz account. But The Franz service does not store anything you type, receive or send. That’s the task and responsibility of your messenger service. Franz is very close to a web browser and does not need direct access to external service API’s. That means Franz does not store any of your external service login credentials on your computer or on a cloud service. The only data that is stored are cookies and the browser cache.
Franz currently supports services like chatwork, Cisco Spark, Discord, Facebook Pages, FastMail, Flowdock, Gadu-Gadu, GitHub, Gitter, Glowing Bear, Gmail, Google Allo, Google Calendar, Google Keep, Grape, GroupMe, HipChat, ICQ, Idobata, Inbox by Gmail, IRCCloud, Linkedin, mailbox.org, Mattermost, messenger, Microsoft Teams, MySMS, Office 365 Outlook, Outlook, Plurk, Pocket, Pulse SMS, Pushbullet, RainLoop, Riot, Rocket.Chat, Roundcube, Sendtask, Skype, Slack, Spectrum, SteamChat, Stride, Tawk.to, Teamwork Projects, Telegram, The Lounge, Tweetdeck, twist, Twitch, twitter DM, VK, Voxer, WeChat, WhatsApp, Workplace, XING, Zendesk and Zulip.
If you want to check out all applications and services Franz supports, then go to the Franz Services page:
Franz has a free license option in which you can add up to 3 Services, choose from more than 70 Services, do account synchronisation and have desktop notifications. There are also paid offerings for Personal, Professional and Enterprise plans, with a monthly or a yearly fee.
To find more on the different plans and their pricing go to the Franz Pricing page.
How to download and install Franz
Franz is available for Linux, macOS and Windows. To download Franz for your platform go to the Franz download page.
In case you use Windows or macOS install the .exe or .dmg file as you normally do, just by double clicking the downloaded file. If you use Linux, you have two options:
1) When you select Ubuntu a deb file will be downloaded. After the download is finished double click the .deb file a package installer will be opened. Click on Install Package and the application will be installed.
2) When you select the option AppImage an AppImage file will be downloaded to your computer. When the download is finished right click on the file and select Properties. Select tab Permissions and activate the option Execute (Allow executing file as program). Double click the .AppImage file. An Install screen will be presented. Choose Yes.
How to setup Franz
First you need to create a new account.
When you select “Create a free account” next you need to give your personal details to sign up.
After you signed up you can add your messaging services.
Now you can select your services.
If one of your services are not visible try the option All Services. Click Save Service after selecting each individual service.
Now your services are visible in the vertical services panel. The first time you select these services one by one so you will be asked to login into each individual services. After that separate logins are not necessary anymore.
I believe that Franz offers a very useful, effective and usable solution for integrating social services under one roof. It is no longer necessary to log in separately for each service. The user interface is simple, well-organized and it’s great that you can maintain several accounts next to each other per service. Franz offers an effective messaging integration for macOS, Windows and Linux.