IM suggestions for specific needs

My parents are not very computer literate (in their 70s) and I’ve managed over the years to get them on a PC, set up email and show them how to use it (they even can attach photos now!,) got them on the web, etc.

I had then doing basic IM with me and the family using a Google app called Hello. Our main use for this was posting photos and discussing them - Hello had about 3/4 of the screen as an area where you could share a photo in real time, then the right side of the screen was the chat area. So, for example, I’d put a photo on of my daughter graduation party, it would take up much of the screen (we both saw the same thing) and my Mom would ask in the chat window “Who are the couple standing next to Edie?” or “Why do you let your daughter wear her hair that color!?” LOL!

Anyway, Google dropped Hello with little notice a couple of years ago. I tried to get them up back then on an app like AIM or Trillian, but back then they did not allow you to be chatting and, while chatting, post a photo (or least one larger than very small) in the chat window while chatting.

We ended up moving them to Meebo just for simplicity sake, simple web based IM, and they were able to connect with family with Yahoo and AIM accounts.

Is there an IM app these days that is really good at sharing photos in real time?

Also, if/when I do migrate them to a new IM program, what’s the easiest way to transfer their current contacts from Meebo to the new IM client without having to re-request each person?


AIM has been good for that ever since… version 6.0 I think?

Direct connecting for images brings up a new window onto which you can click and drag photos almost in a slideshow manner. There is also a little window in the corner that shows you what picture your recipient is currently looking at.

Very cool. How big can the window be?

Also, will AIM allow then to connect and chat with their friends and family who are on Yahoo Messenger? (I guess I should just go to the AIM site and look for myself!)


The window can be maximized to full screen, it’s actually a separate window from the IM.

I don’t believe there’s any connectivity with Yahoo messenger, though :(

Argh, that sounded perfect but I know that have friends on Y messenger. Hmm

If they do this photo sharing with all their Yahoo friends, then I don’t have a suggestion. However, if it’s primarily with you, try a free web conferencing app. lets you share your desktop, where you can bring up photos, and launch a chat dialog to type to each other. It’s free for 1 to 1 desktop conferencing. They can just continue to use Yahoo for everyone else and basic text chat.

That looks interesting.

I think I may just get them on AIM, I may check and see how many family/friends are on Yahoo and how big a deal it would be.

FWIW, it’s not that much trouble to have two clients running at the same time.

The current Yahoo IM client supposedly allows photo sharing, so why not have them use that to talk to all their YIM friends?

Google’s Gtalk is good and integrated within gmail.