Facebook's new service allows up to 50 users to drop into calls with no time limits
Video calling is on the rise amid the current coronavirus lockdown and provides a way for people to communicate with family and friends. Now Facebook have added something into the mix that'll give Zoom a run for its money and it's called Messenger Rooms.
As the name suggests, you create 'Rooms', just like in the Houseparty app. You can keep the room public, allowing anyone to join, or 'lock' the room to keep it private, keeping only friends and family in the mix. If your room was public, then it would be listed at the top of your Facebook feed.
Not everyone will have the ability to use Messenger Rooms yet, as it'll take some time for the feature to be rolled out to everyone.
You can create 'rooms' via the Messenger app for Facebook or directly from the Facebook app itself and Facebook's hoping to add the ability to do so via WhatsApp too soon, since it's Facebook owned.
What's more, you don't even need to have a Facebook account to join with a room. And, if you're lucky enough to have 50 friends, then up to 50 of them can join a single room. And (yes, there's more), there's no limit, unlike with rival Zoom, for example. And, finally, this is all completely F.R.E.E!
You'll be able to use a whole bunch of AR filters (just like on Snapchat) to give yourself cat ears if you really want too and like on the recent update to Microsoft Teams, you will also be able to switch up your background.
Facebook have stated that when Messenger Rooms begins to roll out to all of its user base over the next few weeks that rooms won't have end-to-end encryption but they hope to add it in the future. They also say that Facebook won't listen to the calls.
If you're looking for end-to-end encryption, you can stick with calling people over WhatsApp. To make that more appealing, Facebook have announced you can now add up to eight people into a WhatsApp video call, that's up 4 from its previous limit.
We'll be posting more about Messenger Rooms as and when we hear more, so keep it Hartley Productions for the latest.
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Image credit: Facebook