Apps like Zoom and Houseparty gained a lot of popularity amidst the lockdown and gave a tough competition to Facebook and WhatsApp. Now, to win back its users, Facebook has rolled out a new video conferencing feature called Messenger Rooms that allows 50 users to participate in a video call.
The Messenger Rooms will let the users create public or private video chat rooms with a capacity of 50 people and no time cap. Facebook is also offering virtual backgrounds for the video chat rooms as well as augmented reality (AR) filters of Facebook.
Participants without an account can also join the video call in Messenger Room with the help of a link. However, a drawback of Messenger Rooms is that the video calls are not protected with end-to-end encryption. But Facebook claims that the level of security is much better than Zoom.
How To Use Facebook Messenger Rooms?
Please note that this feature might not be available in your area right now, but it will soon be available within a week. To use Facebook Messenger Rooms, read the following steps:
- Open the Messenger app on your desktop or smartphone
- Tap the Create Room Button next to settings on the home screen of the app
- Set the activity and privacy settings of the room according to your preferences
- Share the invite link with the people you want to add to your room.
- As soon as other participants join, you can conduct meetings and stay with them online for an unlimited period of time without any extra charges.
Facebook is also planning to introduce ways to create a room from Instagram direct and WhatsApp too.
Other updates from Facebook
In addition to Messenger Rooms video calling feature, Facebook has announced a bunch of feature upgrade to its sister apps, namely, WhatsApp and Instagram:
WhatsApp Video Call Upgrade
Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp’s video call capacity is also being increased from 4 participants at a time to 8 participants at a time. With this step, Facebook is preparing WhatsApp to take on the HouseParty app.
Instagram Live Features
Facebook is also introducing new features for Facebook and Instagram live. A feature named ‘Live With That’ will allow the users to invite other individuals to their Instagram live stream. Users will be allowed to post their live stream on IGTV and their stories too.
A donate button will be available in the live stream which can be used to raise funds for the needy. The most amazing thing is that now the users will be able to view the live stream on their desktop as well.
Can Messenger Rooms Rival Zoom And Houseparty?
Amidst the coronavirus crisis and lockdown, most of the people are working from home or just chilling at home. Both Zoom and Houseparty gained popularity as they were more capable than Facebook and WhatsApp in terms of features.
Zoom has gained an audience of around 300 million people by now but people encountered a lot of security issues in the app. HouseParty has emerged as one of the most downloaded apps on Google Play Store with 50 million downloads monthly.
Now, with Messenger Rooms, Facebook will try to tackle the likes of Zoom and HouseParty and retain its audience. With all the latest features and a larger user-base, there is a chance that Facebook might outclass these apps.