To address the issues that the world is currently facing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Facebook has announced a new feature that will greatly help people who are working from home: Messenger Rooms.
Messenger Rooms pretty much works like other video call apps, in which you can start group video calls with workmates or even friends and family members from the comfort of your own home.
The feature is made more convenient since it is available on both Facebook and Facebook Messenger – apps that most people already have anyway. Even if some participants don’t have Facebook accounts, though, they can still join calls. These calls can accommodate up to 50 people. There is no time limit for each call, either.
While the arrival of Messenger Rooms may seem to be on account of how well Zoom is doing, Facebook says that they have been working on this feature for several months now. Zoom’s daily active users skyrocketed from 10 million to over 200 million within the past 3 months, what with the pandemic keeping people at home and causing them to look for online methods to keep their businesses and relationships going smoothly. Other video chat apps like Skype have also dropped their signup requirements and expanded their amount of supported users during this time.
One concern often associated with Zoom, though, is that hackers might listen in on calls held on the app. Experts have even warned against holding online meetings through Zoom due to the security risks that it allegedly poses. Facebook has therefore assured its users that Messenger Rooms doesn’t listen in or record calls in any way.
Through Messenger Rooms, you can start calls and share rooms through Facebook’s News Feed, Events, and Groups. You can also see open rooms that your friends and groups create. To join a call, you may use your computer or phone without needing to download anything.
Messenger Rooms will soon be integrated with WhatsApp, Portal, and Instagram Direct, as well. Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook Messenger VP, points out that people turn to Messenger and WhatsApp to stay connected with over 700 million accounts doing voice calls and video calls everyday. “The number of calls has more than doubled in many countries since the pandemic began,” he shares. “In some cases, the number of group video calls has gone up by more than 10 times.”