Ubuntu ships Pidgin but does not update it after a release (except for security issues and high-severity bugs). For those users who desire new releases of Pidgin, we have packaged Pidgin in a PPA. If you encounter problems with these packages, try building from source and report the bug.
To setup the PPA, copy-and-paste these commands into a terminal:
sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com \ 67265eb522bdd6b1c69e66ed7fb8bee0a1f196a8
echo deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu \ `lsb_release --short --codename` main | \
sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pidgin-ppa.list
After doing this, open Update Manager, check for updates, and then install the newly available Pidgin packages.
Future Pidgin updates will show up in Update Manager along with the usual Ubuntu updates. The PPA will need to be re-setup only after upgrading Ubuntu.
This PPA is maintained by one developer, so please be patient. It often lags behind the source releases a couple of days.