imo.im – A Multi-Client Web Based IM Service

I am what you could call an instant message junkie. Between Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Blackberry messengers, I am always chatting with someone. In some cases Instant messaging from a mobile device just won’t cut it. What would happen if you were at a friend’s house and you need to get a hold of someone on Skype and your buddy doesn’t have it installed?

This is where imo.im can help. Imo.im is a web based instant messaging application that lets you log into all of the major IM services including Skype and Facebook. Having access to some of these apps in an all-in-one web app is a damn good idea; I’m surprised these kind of web based apps aren’t more popular.

There are three ways to use this service:

1. Browser

If you are constantly at your computer with your browser open, you can opt to use imo.im from the site. It has no OS dependencies because it is web based. As long as you can access the web, you can IM until your heart is content.

imo.im-browser

2. Pop-out

If you prefer to, there is an option to IM via a pop out window. This option will still require you to have your browser open. Also, make sure the your pop up blocker lets it “pop out”.

imo.im-popout

3. Desktop App

The third option is a downloadable desktop application for Windows computers. Aside from not needing to have a browser running, there is no difference between the web and desktop version. Even though it is a downloaded application, it is pretty much just like the browser pop out.

imo.im-desktop

Video

Depending on the IM service you choose to log into, you can access some of the features usually associated with their individual desktop application. For example, with Yahoo IM there is an option for video chat when I use the desktop app on my Mac. If I am using Adium, I lose this option. By logging onto the imo.im site, I  regain the use of video. If you are on a computer equipped with a webcam, you can use the video chat feature offered by some IM services. If you are out running errands and remember you have a 2:30 Skype video conference, you could pop into a Best Buy and use one of the demo computers. It would be really unprofessional of you, but you could do it if you had to.

Audio

The same is true with voice chat. Like webcams, most computers have a microphone of some kind or at the very least, an option to plug one in. If you are doing other things on the web and simply don’t want to type, you can utilize imo.im to speak your mind via services like Skype hands free.

Signing In

To make your signing in easier, imo.im lets you link the accounts you use the most together for ease of logging in. All this really does is allow one click sign in for all of the accounts you have linked.

imo.im-linkaccounts

Other Goodies – Picture Sharing

Imo.im has a photo sharing program. To share, simply email the photo to photos@imo.im from the email address you registered; that’s it. You have 2GB of space to store your photographic masterpieces.

Whiteboard

The whiteboard is a basic collaboration tool. It is almost like a collaborative Microsoft Paint. You can type, use the pre-made shapes and even doodle or write in the open area. I could see this being handy for an impromptu brainstorming session.

Overall, the basics of this web based service are pretty similar to many of the desktop apps available Adium, Trillium and Digsby. The biggest difference over the desktop counterparts is being able to access it from any computer with an internet connection. Great if you are traveling sans laptop and have to use the hotel lobby computer in a pinch.

What other web based IM services are available?

7 comments

  1. How would this service compare to Meebo? The only thing meebo is missing would be sykpe I believe.

    • Great question, Amani! There are many fabulous features on imo including a lightning fast chat history feature that has been released to a subset of users, photo sharing with 2GB of free storage, a collaborative whiteboard feature, as well as a bunch of new features that are rolling out in the next few months. We currently have a user base of over half a million users, and it is steadily growing as people love the simplicity and speed of our application, with no need to download our client or sign up for an account. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me at marissa@imo.im.

  2. There are also a few questions about security and video chat that Damien forwarded to me that I would like to address:

    We only use your passwords to sign into your accounts on your behalf while using imo. imo doesn’t store your password by default, so there is normally no record of it anywhere on our servers. The only exception to this is if you choose to use our linked accounts
    feature, which lets you unlock multiple chat accounts with a single password. If you choose to use this feature, then we will store an encrypted version of your password so that you don’t have to type multiple passwords to sign in to multiple accounts. You can choose to unlink your accounts at any time, however. If you choose to unlink your accounts, your encrypted passwords will be deleted from our servers.

    imo allows you to chat with your friends through our browser based chat, not through your native video chat. To use our video chat, open an IM conversation with the buddy you wish to chat with and click the ‘Video Chat’ link. A video chat window will open. Click the ‘Allow’ button to enable your camera and microphone. At this point, you should be able to see yourself and your buddy will be able to see you. If your buddy IS logged into imo.im, a video window will automatically appear on your buddy’s screen. Your buddy can now see your every move, so make sure you are not picking your nose. If your buddy IS NOT logged into imo.im, they will receive a link in an instant message. When your buddy clicks on the link, they will be sent to a page on imo.im where they can hear and see you. Your buddy can then optionally sign into imo.im in order to IM you.

    • @Marissa: Thanks for clearing the air. It is great to have you here to provide any support and answer questions from the readers.

    • Not that I could find.

      Are you looking for Facebook Chat? If so, you can try Palringo. You can access many of the same IM services all at once.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Stories