WhatsApp today launched screen sharing as its latest feature to improve the video conference experience on its platform, competing with traditional video conferencing apps such as Microsoft Meet, Google Meet, and Zoom, as well as Apple’s FaceTime.
The new tool, which was introduced this morning by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg via a Facebook post and his Instagram feed, will allow you to exchange documents, photographs, and even your shopping cart with contacts who are present on video calls.
Screen sharing on WhatsApp was first made available to some beta testers on Android in late May. It is accessed by touching or clicking the ‘Share’ icon. Users can share either a specific app or their entire screen. Screen sharing operates similarly to how it does on traditional video conferencing platforms like Google Meet and Zoom.
According to WhatsApp, the screen sharing capability has begun to be phased-in on Android, iOS, and Windows Desktop. That means you may not see the feature right now, but you will shortly.
Along with screen sharing, WhatsApp added video calling functionality in Landscape mode to provide a more expansive and immersive viewing experience than the current Portrait mode. Landscape mode support may also be handy when using screen sharing on the platform.
Video calling has been available on WhatsApp for nearly six years, having first becoming available to all users in November 2016. However, in order to remain competitive, the instant messaging software is steadily enhancing its functionality. WhatsApp recently added picture-in-picture capability for video calls to iOS. It also offered the possibility to share brief video messages in conversations, as video has become an important form of communication for many users.
Screen sharing has long been a key feature of video conferencing apps, especially ones intended at consumers. For example, in 2021, Apple improved its FaceTime service with SharePlay, which allowed iOS users to share their screens directly. WhatsApp has gone even farther by making this capability available to Android, iOS, and PC users.