SharePlay on FaceTime: A New Social Era Begins

SharePlay on FaceTime: A New Social Era Begins

During a global pandemic, there is no better way to communicate with your friends and loved ones through a FaceTime call, but is the user interface limited? Can improvements be made? Fortunately, with Apple’s iOS 15 update coming this fall, users can now share their screen, watch movies, play music on the call, and so much more. This is all thanks to the new feature called SharePlay that allows FaceTime users to share on-screen content with the rest of the call. Watch a movie together, listen to a song, or scroll TikTok, the possibilities are endless. But what are some unique opportunities that come with SharePlay that sound too good to be true? Imagine the havoc when you find out that the private messages you sent to your friends are seen by others too, or when the argument you get into isn’t just against the person you’re texting but also the one they are sharing their screen with. SharePlay is going to change and bend the social norms we live with today and what can the future look like?


High-Tech Features Meet High School Drama

Because iOS 15 was just announced and will be coming later this year in the fall, there are still a lot of things we do not know about the limits of sharing your screen. Will you be able to screen share all apps? Will there be an alert system where it will let a user know if their texts are being read by another person over FaceTime? For example, Snapchat is an app that values the privacy of everyone. If somebody screenshots your story, you will be notified. If the person you are snapping screen records your chain of texts, you will know. Is it possible that we can see something that notifies you if the texts you send to others are being screen shared? If we do not see something like this, it is possible that people viewing somebody else’s screen can take a screenshot, working around the features on Snapchat that are supposed to help private conversations stay private. Just like the well known “half-swipe” trick, that allows users of Snapchat to read a message without it being marked as read, screen sharing on FaceTime could possibly make a new loophole that allows screenshots of messages. Besides this, it is also a little scary that reading texts together can happen over FaceTime, even without screenshots being taken. CHS student Morgan Garcia states, “It makes me feel uncomfortable that the texts I send can be read by others over FaceTime. Although this can also happen when people are together in person, it just makes it easier for it to occur.” Sharing your screen means that people will have to say goodbye to the privacy they once knew. Things will be different now, more arguments, more drama, all caused by a new FaceTime update. But this is the worst news SharePlay has brought us, what about the good?


Besides the Bad

 Even though SharePlay can break the integrity of text messaging others, there are still things to be excited about. Imagine you suggest your favorite song to a friend, you want them to take a listen, but you’re already on the call. Now, you can just play it for them and enjoy it together. The same thing also applies to movies and shows now that you can also share TV together through FaceTime. And beyond Messages and Snapchat, sharing your screen can allow you to do so many things with others. Cresskill High School Sophomore Eryn Hong said, “I’ve always liked shopping online for clothes with my friends over FaceTime and with the update in the fall, I can share my screen rather than sending links of items to everyone, making the experience so much easier.” SharePlay will change the ways people interact online for sure, allowing you to do more than ever with friends and family over the phone, so besides the bad side of your texts having the possibility to be read by others behind your back, SharePlay will bring the world closer together.