WhatsApp has introduced a new feature to enrich the video calling experience on its platform – the ability to share screens during video calls. This latest feature was announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. It offers users the capability to share documents, photos, and even their shopping carts with contacts while engaged in video calls. The feature puts WhatsApp in direct competition with established video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, Apple’s FaceTime, and Microsoft Meet.
Screen sharing on WhatsApp was initially released to select beta testers on Android in late May. To access this feature, users need to tap or click on the “Share” icon, enabling them to choose whether to share a specific app or their entire screen. This approach mirrors the functionality seen on popular video conferencing platforms.
WhatsApp has confirmed that the screen-sharing feature is gradually rolling out across Android, iOS, and Windows Desktop in stages. This means that while not all users will immediately see the feature, it should become available to them soon.
In addition to screen sharing, WhatsApp has also introduced video-calling support in Landscape mode. This offers a wider and more immersive viewing experience compared to the existing Portrait mode. The Landscape mode could prove particularly beneficial when utilizing the screen-sharing function.
While video calling has been a part of WhatsApp for over six years, the platform continues to refine its services to remain competitive. Recent updates include introducing picture-in-picture support for video calls on iOS and enabling the sharing of short video messages within chats. This underscores the growing importance of video as a primary mode of communication for many users.
Screen sharing has become a crucial feature for video-conferencing apps, even those catering to consumers. Apple’s FaceTime introduced SharePlay in 2021, allowing iOS users to natively share their screens. WhatsApp takes this a step further by extending screen sharing to Android, iOS, and desktop users.