WhatsApp has taken a bold step today by introducing the screen sharing feature as its latest enhancement to the video calling experience on its platform, challenging traditional video conferencing apps like Microsoft Meet, Google Meet, Zoom, and even Apple’s FaceTime.
The new feature, announced this morning by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg through a Facebook post and on his Instagram channel, will allow you to seamlessly share your documents, photos, and even your shopping cart with contacts during video calls.
Initially rolled out to some Android beta testers in late May, the screen sharing feature on WhatsApp can be accessed by tapping or clicking the ‘Share’ icon. Users have the flexibility to choose between sharing a specific application or their entire screen. This mirrors the functionality of screen sharing on commonly used video conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom.
According to information provided to TechCrunch by WhatsApp, the screen sharing feature has started to be gradually rolled out on Android, iOS, and Windows Desktop. This phased approach means that the feature might not be immediately visible to all users, but it should be available to everyone soon.
In addition to the screen sharing feature, WhatsApp has introduced video calling support in Landscape mode, offering a broader and more immersive viewing experience compared to the existing Portrait mode. The Landscape mode support could also prove to be advantageous when using the screen sharing feature on the platform.
Video calling has been an integral part of WhatsApp for over six years, becoming accessible to all users on the platform in November 2016. However, the instant messaging app continues to improve its service to remain competitive. More recently, WhatsApp introduced picture-in-picture support for video calls on iOS and enabled the sharing of short video messages in chats. Video communication has become a vital means of interaction for numerous users.
Screen sharing has been a pivotal feature for video conferencing apps, catering to both consumers and businesses. In 2021, for instance, Apple enhanced its FaceTime service with SharePlay, allowing iOS users to natively share their screens. WhatsApp has gone a step further by extending this capability to users on Android, iOS, and desktop platforms. This innovation solidifies WhatsApp’s position as a trailblazer in the realm of virtual communication.