Summary:

There are plenty of ways to point other people at content on the web that you find useful or interesting: services like del.icio.us, email, instant messaging. But sometimes link sharing can get to be a nuisance. That’s where BrowsePal comes in: it’s a no-setup, no-cost co-browsing […]

ScreenshotThere are plenty of ways to point other people at content on the web that you find useful or interesting: services like del.icio.us, email, instant messaging. But sometimes link sharing can get to be a nuisance. That’s where BrowsePal comes in: it’s a no-setup, no-cost co-browsing system.

Using BrowsePal is easy: navigate to their home page and click the “Co-browse” link, and then send the URL they give you in return to another user (or many other users). They support directly sending via email or Twitter, or you can cut and paste the link to your IM application of choice. Your friend opens that link in your browser, and voila, they see your BrowsePal session and can follow along.

One good use case for this is with BrowsePal’s built-in support for Google Maps; start a map browsing session and your co-browser can see all of the panning and zooming you do, along with any search results. If you wanted to be on the phone walking someone through the route for a trip, this would be an excellent follow-along aid.

There are other built-in types of co-browsing sessions, but the most useful one is simply to start with a Google search and go from there. Whatever pages you visit will show in your browser and in the other browser, letting you create a guided trip through the web.

There are limits to the technology: no SSL support, the “Home” button of your browser will take you out of BrowsePal, cookie-based sites won’t work the same on the viewing browser as they do on the original browser. But given the extremely low friction of BrowsePal, it’s worth having around as one of the tools that you have to call on.

By Mike Gunderloy

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