WhatsApp rolls out screen sharing feature to compete with video conferencing giants

In a bid to enhance the user experience and compete with traditional video conferencing platforms such as Microsoft Meet, Google Meet, Zoom, and Apple’s FaceTime, WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature: screen sharing. This announcement was made by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg via a Facebook post and on his Instagram channel. The screen-sharing feature, which was first tested with a select group of Android beta users in late May, allows users to share documents, photos, and even their shopping carts with their contacts during video calls. To use this feature, users simply need to tap or click the ‘Share’ icon and then select whether they want to share a specific app or their entire screen.

This mirrors the functionality found in other video conferencing platforms. WhatsApp confirmed to TechCrunch that the screen-sharing feature is being released in a phased manner across Android, iOS, and Windows Desktop. This means that while some users may not have immediate access to the feature, it should be available soon. In addition to screen sharing, WhatsApp has also introduced video calling support in Landscape mode.

This new feature provides a wider and more immersive viewing experience compared to the existing Portrait mode and could prove particularly useful when using the screen-sharing feature. WhatsApp, which introduced video calling to its platform in November 2016, has been continuously improving its service to stay competitive. Recent enhancements include picture-in-picture support for video calls on iOS and the ability to share short video messages in chats. Screen sharing is not a new concept in the world of video conferencing apps. In 2021, Apple upgraded its FaceTime service with SharePlay, allowing iOS users to share their screens natively. However, WhatsApp has taken this a step further by extending this feature to Android and desktop users as well, demonstrating its commitment to providing a comprehensive and user-friendly experience across multiple platforms.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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