I am running a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.10. I entered my account details in the online accounts app. In the message tray icon in the systray, thunderbird, Gwibber, Empathy all just have links to the app. Unless the thunderbird,gwibber,emphathy itself in running, the message tray doesnt give live updates if i receive a email or message. Is this supposed to be like this?
I am using 12.04.1 with cinnamon and not using empathy, but you can give a try
Gwibber more easier just go to preference > check mark on "Start service at login"