Facebook has expanded availability of Messenger’s screen sharing feature in video calls and Messenger Rooms to Android and iOS.
This feature allows one to share a live view of your screen so you can share virtually anything together. As of now you can share your screen with up to eight people in group chats or up to 16 people in Messenger Rooms. But the new feature lets up to 50 people in Rooms.
To share your screen, first make sure you have the latest version of Messenger installed. Then, during a call, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal the call options. Then just click “share your screen,” “start sharing,” and then “start broadcast” (presumably Facebook is giving you that many warnings so you don’t start sharing anything by mistake). After that you can navigate as you like on your phone, or return to the call to stop the broadcast.
Screen sharing allows you to scroll through your photos, surf social media or shop together online with friends more easily than before, Facebook said. The company will soon add the ability for Room creators to determine whether to limit the ability to screen share to just themselves, or make it available to all participants on the call.
It’s definitely a welcome feature. Video calls have been the saving grace of the pandemic, allowing you to connect with friends, family, and colleagues, and screen sharing is especially useful. You can catch up with loved ones by flicking through photos in your camera roll from a recent trip, or talk over details about a work project with a co-worker.
While screen sharing is already available on a number of video chat services, including Skype and Zoom, Messenger works particularly well on mobile devices, so having the option on iOS and Android is definitely a big improvement.