Facebook's new group video chat feature, Messenger Rooms, has recently gone live for users on both desktop and mobile devices. The new feature has been introduced to take on the likes of Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and MS Teams, as there is a surge in the number of users turning to video chat services during lockdowns and quarantines.
It is essentially an expanded version of the company’s existing Facebook Messenger service and allows users to invite up to 50 people to join a video call using the Facebook app or Messenger. In addition, it does not come with any time limits on calls.
A Messenger Room is a drop-in video chat feature from Facebook. So when someone using the feature creates a room, Facebook will alert people using a dedicated section in the news feed or push a notification to users. People can actually start a video call from the Facebook app or Messenger and send out invites to different users, even those who don’t have a Facebook account. When a user creates a room on Facebook, they will also be able to control who sees their room in the News Feed by choosing whom to invite.
To create a Facebook Messenger room from your device, you need to have the latest version of Facebook and Messenger apps. If you don’t have these apps, you can download them from the Google Play Store or the App Store, as applicable. Once you’ve installed the apps, you need to follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Launch the Messenger app on your device.
Step 2: Click on the ‘People tab’ which is at the bottom-right of the screen.
Step 3: Select ‘Create a Room’, and select the users that you wish to add.
Step 4: Now, if you want to share this room with people who don't have a Facebook account, you simply need to share the link with them.
Users will be able to join a room using a phone or desktop. Facebook is also working on ways to allow users to create Rooms from WhatsApp and Instagram Direct, along with the Portal smart display.
The company is promoting the new feature using its Facebook app which features a carousel of cards at the top of the page that lists a number of friends' faces and an option to “Say Hi.” When a user clicks on any of the cards, it gives the option to create a room with that person or send them a direct message on Messenger.