Co-Browsing

Cobrowsing Software for online collaboration, web conferencing and simply browsing web pages at the same time.

Co-browsing is a technology that allows people from different locations to browse and interact with the same web pages at the same time. Any web page or URI that one computer visits, will be automatically synchronized to other connected computers, and depending on the cobrowsing tool, along with other data entered into the webpage.

Co-browsing software can have the same uses as screen sharing applications but they both differ in how they operate. Screen sharing applications work by taking screenshots of the host computer at a high frame rate and sending all that images to the client computers. This operation can use up a lot of bandwith and noticeable delay from one computer to the other.

Meanwhile, cobrowsing tools are ideal for users with slow internet connections since the host computer only sends out a string of text characters to form the URI of the web page being visited. Other computers will then load the web page on their own. What each one sees and how fast a web page loads will be dependent on each individual hardware settings.

Common features in co-browsing tools include:

  • Push web pages and Follow-me / Synch Surfing
    The most basic feature of cobrowsing systems is the ability to push or type webpages and propagate it to other computers. A more advanced feature is sync-surfing wherein all computers follow a link from a webpage without the need for the host to type-in the address manually.
  • Session control
    This feature allows the host to give a participant control of the whole co-browsing session.
  • Co-Scrolling
    Majority of web pages provide a scroll bar because their contents do not fit in a single browser window. Old co-browsing systems require each participant to manually scroll web pages. The co-scrolling feature allows every participant to automatically scroll web pages whenever the host scrolls his or her browser.
  • Co-Filling
    This feature allows participants to fill up or complete forms or text-boxes in a web page.

 

Cobrowsing is mainly used for presentations and as a web based collaborative tool. Co-browsing is sometimes called web-touring because it has been mainly used before for presentations and web-conferencing. A host or presenter can literally give participants a “tour of the web” jumping from one web page to the other.

As an online collaboration tool, it can be used by a team of writers to create a wiki or some other online document. E-commerce stores have also adapted co-browsing and co-filling tools to allow tech support agents to help customers complete order forms and shopping carts, and demonstrate a site’s functionality in real-time.

Cobrowsing is also very closely related to live chat. Many websites use the 2 simultaniously to increase visitor interaction. Cobrowse with your visitor and chat with them via live chat software when applicable.