Facebook Messenger has supported video calls for quite some time, but today it’s getting a new feature that makes it super easy to video chat with a large group.
Messenger Rooms is a new way to video chat with Facebook, letting you create a virtual room that’ll soon be able to hold up to 50 people with no time limit. You can invite anyone to join your room, even if they don’t have a Facebook account, and people can join from a computer or a phone.
Starting a Messenger Room can be done from Messenger or Facebook. For example, from Facebook you can choose to start a room from your News Feed, Groups, and Events. And soon Facebook says it’ll let you create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal, too.
When you set up a room, you can choose who can see it and join it so you don’t have randos joining your room. You can also remove people from the call and lock a room if you don’t want anyone else to enter.
Facebook says Messenger Rooms is starting to roll out in some countries this week and will expand to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lots of people who are sheltering at home are turning to video calls to have contact with friends and family. With Messenger Rooms, Facebook hopes to make the process of hanging out with those people easy, letting you just create a room and then allowing other people to come and go as they please without needing an invitation or anything from you.
In other video calling news, Facebook says that WhatsApp will soon support video and voice calls with up to 8 people at once. These calls will be secured with end-to-end encryption.
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