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(also collaborative browsing)

Co-browsing definition

Co-browsing (short for “collaborative browsing”) is a mode of interaction where multiple users navigate the same piece of content online simultaneously. Unlike traditional screen sharing, which only broadcasts one user’s experience to the others, co-browsing focuses on the shared exploration aspect.

See also: remote desktop, remote monitoring and management, remote user, screen scraping

How co-browsing works

Co-browsing involves specialized platforms designed to synchronize the web browsing experience among multiple users. Popular platforms include Glance, Sufly, and, although some companies use bespoke co-browsing tools in their work.

To begin with, a user (such as a customer seeking assistance) initiates the co-browsing session on their device. In response, the co-browsing platform generates a unique identifier (like a session ID or token) and shares it with the other participants in the session.

Participants embed a small piece of code into their web browsers to connect them to the co-browsing platform. The co-browsing platform then employs synchronization mechanisms (such as tracking clicks and form inputs) to ensure that all participants experience the same content in real-time.

Co-browsing privacy and security

To address privacy and security concerns, co-browsing tools often limit access to sensitive data or dangerous actions. Many platforms use data masking techniques to selectively hide certain information on the web page and block button clicks to avoid irreversible changes.

Co-browsing uses

Co-browsing technology has been incorporated into customer support, online meetings, sales demonstrations, and educational environments. For example, co-browsing allows customer service agents to better understand the user’s problem and then guide them through troubleshooting. In remote education, teachers can use co-browsing to involve students in active tutorials instead of passive lectures.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security