Facebook has enabled its screen-sharing feature for Messenger on mobile devices, allowing you to share your phone or tablet screen when calling a friend one on one, in a group chat, or while taking part in even larger conversations via Messenger Rooms.
Right now, you can share your screen (or pictures from your camera roll, or your Instagram feed, or whatever you’d like) with up to eight people in group chats or up to 16 people in Messenger Rooms. However, Facebook says it’s working on expanding the feature for up to 50 people in Rooms. The update is available on both Android and iOS.
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 on Messenger on iOS. Faces are blurred to protect the participants’ privacy and vanity. Image: The Verge
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.