Facebook launched its new video chat feature on the desktop and mobile platforms. This new video chat feature is called Messenger Rooms. It is an enhanced version of the previously available Facebook Messenger’s video chat feature. Messenger Rooms allow upto 50 people to join in on the video chat, and there are no limitations when it comes to time.
Facebook has given control to users. They can decide who can join the chat. Even if you don’t have a Facebook account but have the link to the conversation, you can join. It can be made public too. Messenger Rooms can be shared through your Newsfeed and Groups. Facebook has given users control over who can see the messengers, and people can even remove people they don’t want others from their messenger rooms. You want to stop people from joining, and also lock the room to prohibit entries.
While the traditional one to one video calling remains the same, you can opt for creating a room by clicking on the “people” section. One can also set parameters like “ Happy hours” or simply “ hanging out,” amongst many other customizable options.You can make your room available to any of your friends, but if happen to make it public,it will be available for your entire list of friends and will be at the top of the newsfeed until it is active.So a word of caution here, decide your participants and then post the link in your group.
The video quality of the feature is impressive, and there are added features like virtual backgrounds along with AR filters. But beware, you might not want to leave the room without ending it. You don’t want to start a video chat with 500 people you rarely interact with.
With this new robust feature and given the massive number of users, Facebook is taking on its competitors like Zoom, Houseparty, and Google Meet. Facebook, which has always been in the news for privacy issues, has stated that the Messenger Room conversations are not end to end encrypted, unlike WhatsApp. But, just like messenger conversation, Facebook will not interfere with the users’ privacy when it comes to their conversation.
Amidst the global lockdown, teleconferencing apps have taken center stage,and now with the big guns coming into action, it will be interesting to see where the users’ preferences lie.
Feel free to share your preferences with us in the comment section.