In the current coronavirus situation, Facebook has launched a new video chat feature called Messenger Rooms to compete with the likes of Zoom.
The new video chatting service will allow users to build ‘rooms’ where friends will be able to drop in whenever they want. Messenger Rooms, via Facebook Messenger, will allow virtual hangouts of up to 50 people at a time.
Facebook Messenger previously restricted video calls to only a handful of people with Facebook accounts. Now, they have relaxed both of these prohibitions. Messenger Rooms would allow up to 50 people to take part in a single video call, no longer having to drop in a Facebook account. Best of all, there’s no time limit for the new video chat service, unlike the Zoom which limits free meetings to 40 minutes.
All you have to do to start a meeting is build a room in Facebook Messenger or even directly from Facebook and then send a link to whomever you want to join. When people enter your house, they will start showing up in a video gallery and you will be able to hang out with them as long as you want. You can opt to kick people out of the room from here, decide who will join the discussions, and even divide the room into new entrances.
The business is planning to start launching the Messenger Rooms this week in a few countries with the service being available globally a few weeks down the road. For now, due to “major difficulties” in implementing the functionality, Facebook is not able to provide end-to-end encryption on video calls in rooms, but the company is hard at work trying to implement it as soon as possible.