Facebook is entering the mass video conferencing market with Messenger Rooms, a service that allows up to 50 people to connect via a webcam that directly competes with other popular services like Zoom, Houseparty and Group FaceTime.
Mass video conferencing services capable of hosting large numbers of people have become popular in recent weeks, due to home stay orders and a push for work at home brought about by COVID-19. As Zoom has grown in importance as the primary service people use to host large-scale webcam meetings, with Houseparty and Group Facetime also being used for similar purposes, Facebook has entered the market with its own vision of idea.
Messenger Rooms allows people to get together in the same video call, with rooms that can soon accommodate up to 50 people with no time limit. This is higher than the previous Messenger video call limit, which allowed eight people to chat.
Users will be able to start and share a room on Facebook itself via the newsfeed, groups and events, although the social network also hopes to introduce ways to create rooms via Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal at to come up. Rooms created by friends and communities followed by the user will be shown to them in Facebook for easy connection.
Just like Facebook Messenger, users can also enjoy AR effects on their video stream, including adding rabbit ears and other elements to their face, background or mood lighting.
Messenger Rooms rolls out in a few countries at first, expanding into all other markets within weeks.
It’s not the only video-related feature that Facebook announced for its products and services. For Facebook Live, he brought Live With to allow several people to host live video, donation buttons and better integration with Facebook events.
Instagram will allow users to experience videos from the desktop, write comments, and record videos on IGTV. On the portal, it will soon allow users to go live from the device to Facebook pages and groups, expanding the existing functionalities that allow broadcasting from a user’s profile.