“The Messages app has included a way to initiate screen sharing with an individual that you’re talking to, starting with the release of OS X Yosemite, but it is a severely under-used feature,” Anthony Bouchard writes for iDownloadBlog.

“Screen sharing from the Messages app includes a lot of useful features that could displace all those expensive VNC apps you might be buying from the App Store or Mac App Store,” Bouchard writes. “The feature is very much hidden from plain sight, but it’s not impossible to access.”

“OS X’s Messages app has a function built into it to launch the hidden Screen Sharing app built into OS X, and it’ll connect you to that person using your and their iCloud account,” Bouchard writes. “We think Apple made a good choice in making the feature available from the Messages app in OS X, because typically, when you need someone’s help, you’ll reach out to them in a message first to ask “Hey, are you busy? Do you think you could help me?” and at that point, it’s very easy to initiate a screen sharing session to better describe what’s going wrong.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: We’ve used it and it works very well. It only works among OS X users, though, so users of other platforms are out of luck.

However, buried inside your Mac is Apple’s Screen Sharing application. It’s inside System>Library>CoreServices>Applications.

In addition, OS X has a built-in screen sharing feature that lets you connect to another Mac on your network and display its screen on your Mac. You can use screen sharing to access your Mac while you’re away, solve a problem on someone else’s Mac, or collaborate with others on a project such as a website or presentation. Instructions for that below.

If you have an iCloud account, you can use Back to My Mac to share the screen of a Mac on a remote network.

You can let others view your computer screen on their own Mac. While your screen is being shared, the user of the other Mac sees what’s on your screen and can open, move, and close files and windows, open apps, and even restart your Mac.

1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

2. Select the Screen Sharing checkbox. If Remote Management is selected, you must deselect it before you can select Screen Sharing.

3. To specify who can share your screen, select one of the following:

• All users: Any of your computer’s users and anyone on your network can log in.

• Only these users: Screen sharing is restricted to specific users.

4. If you selected “Only these users,” click the Add button at the bottom of the users list, then do one of the following:

• Select a user from Users & Groups, which includes all the users of your Mac.

• Select a user from Network Users or Network Groups, which includes everyone on your network.

5. To let others share your screen without having a user account on your Mac, click Computer Settings, then select one or both of the following:

• Anyone may request permission to control screen: Before other computer users begin screen sharing your Mac, they can ask for permission instead of entering a user name and password.

• VNC viewers may control screen with password: Other users can share your screen using a VNC viewer app — on iPad or a Windows PC, for example—by entering the password you specify here.

If this computer’s screen is shared only by other OS X users, turn off this option.