Screensharing via IM With YuuGuu

There are many ways to share your screen online these days. There are premium solutions such as WebEx and GoToMeeting, and a slew of free and inexpensive options such as Zoho Meeting, Adobe ConnectNow (s adbe) and DimDim (which Aliza covered recently). Each provides a way to share your screen with others in real-time via the web. Some even allow you to remotely take control of the desktop on the other end, and some include phone conferencing so you can talk while making a presentation online.

YuuGuu is a little different than the options outlined above, because it allows you to share your screen via instant messenger (IM). It also supports all of the major IM platforms such as Yahoo (s yhoo), MSN (s msft), AIM, GTalk (s goog) and more. It also doesn’t require anyone (you or the people you share your screen with) to download and install anything, which should save lots of time and could avoid many headaches.

When you launch YuuGuu, it looks just like any other universal IM client, with all your friends listed from different services. However, the nice thing about YuuGuu is that you can share your screen with anyone by just clicking their name and selecting the “Show” option.

They will see something like this on their end:

That’s all there is to it. They click the link to view whatever you’re sharing on your desktop. Nothing to download or install and no emails invitations, no special session code to enter and no accounts to create. Just click and share.

This is what you will see on your end. Notice the pause button which lets you freeze the screensharing if you need to step away, or change something on your desktop and don’t want others to see what you’re doing. There’s also a free dial-in phone number for all sessions, with a unique conference code.

You can add other viewers to the session by clicking the “Add” button. The free version allows you to host up to five viewers at a time. You also have unlimited usage with other YuuGuu members, and up to 100 minutes per month with non-YuuGuu members. Every session includes the free telephone conference room. There are a few premium plans to choose from which allow unlimited usage with people outside of YuuGuu as well as support for teams and corporate environments. The free version is a good way to get your feet wet and see how you like it.

There’s also a feature called “Web Share,” which works the same way but it allows you to invite others who are not in your IM contact list. It generates a unique URL for your screen sharing session that anyone can view as long as they have the special PIN code.

Besides being able to conduct telephone conference calls during your online presentations with the dial-in phone number, you can also take advantage of YuuGuu’s Skype integration. This allows you to avoid long distance charges (in most cases) or save a great deal of expense with Skype’s reduced long distance rates.

I like the concept of conducting screen sharing sessions and presentations via IM; it makes the process so much easier. I also like not forcing anyone to download and install software and that you can also invite those that are not on your IM contact list.

I would like to see the option to see your contacts from other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. I’d also like to see the ability to create groups so that you can quickly launch sessions for a group of people with a single click.

What do you think of using your IM contact list to initiate online presentations? What other tools do you use for sharing your screen?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Report: The Real-Time Enterprise