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December 13, 2022

How does co browsing work?

In the article I break down exactly how cobrowing works from both the technical and non technical perspective. I also high light some major safety features included when using a cobrowing application.


Hello, Spencer here, the guy who runs Median Cobrowse. In this article I am going to do my best to explain exactly how cobrowing works for both the technical and non technical customer. Wish me luck!

NOTE: If I missed something or you have questions, please feel free to email me at Also, if you wanna speak with me directly I added a link to my calendar below. I would love to meet yah.

How does co browsing work?

Cobrowsing, also known as collaborative browsing, is a technology that allows multiple users to view and interact with the same web page or application in real-time. This is achieved through the use of specialized software that synchronizes the actions of each user on the page, allowing them to see and interact with the same content and features.

Cobrowsing is typically used in customer service and support scenarios, where a representative can help a customer navigate a website or application by guiding them through the steps on their own screen. This allows the representative to see exactly what the customer is seeing and provide real-time assistance.

The cobrowsing process begins when a customer ask for help. That be either be in the form of chat, email, phone call, or even sms. Once a customer asks for help a representative on the support team can then find that user (typically via an integration or in a dashboard) and initiate a support session.

One of the key benefits of cobrowsing is that it loads when your website loads. That mean's a support representative will be able to join a screen share session without needing to send an invite download or install.

Once the representative has joined a users session they will be able to see their screen and put even put their cursor on the customer screen. The representative can then guide the customer through the necessary steps by highlighting elements on the page and clicking on them, or by typing directly into the customer's browser.

Some Cobrowsing software allows for two-way communication between the representative and the customer. The representative can use a chat or webRTC to communicate with the customer, while the customer can use the same tool to ask questions or provide feedback.

One of the key benefits of cobrowsing is that it allows for more efficient and effective support interactions. By being able to see and interact with the same page as the customer, the representative can more easily diagnose and resolve issues, resulting in a better customer experience.

Additionally, cobrowsing can be used in a variety of other scenarios, such as training, sales, and collaboration. For example, a sales representative can use cobrowsing to demonstrate a product to a potential customer, or a team of coworkers can use it to collaborate on a project.

Technical explanation

Most cobrowsing applications are a combination of JavaScript combined with an advanced backend server environment that streams changes in a website, in real-time, to a viewer for support representatives. Since most cobrowsing applications are a JavaScript embed, that means that most cobrowsing applications will only work where the code is installed.

Cobrowsing applications work by streaming DOM changes in real time to an iframe style viewer using a network of socket servers. On top of just streaming the changes, cobrowsing tools often use cookies to track users as they navigate through a website. This feature is neat because that means a support representative can seamlessly follow website visitors without the need to take any action.

By directional streaming is required in order to allow a support representative to interact with a user in real time. Interactions may include, showing a cursor, highlight code snippets, drawing, clicking, typing, and even full video and audio streaming.

Often times cobrowsing is faster and more reliable than typical screen share applications do to the streaming of code versus complied video formats. Outside of being faster, support teams often chose cobrowing applications over screen share applications for security purposes. Most cobrowing tools allow administrators to customize what can and what can not be streamed. For example, an administrator can chose to not stream a <div> file that contains Personal Identifiable Information (PII), inside the cobrowsing software.


Overall, cobrowsing is a powerful technology that enables real-time collaboration and interaction on web pages and applications, providing a more efficient and effective way to support, sell, and collaborate online.

I hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or would like to chat on a zoom call, feel free to snag a time below. Would love to meet yah.