Facebook has just rolled out its new video chat product called “Messenger Rooms.” It’s now available to the public on both desktop and mobile.
The company announced on Wednesday, May 14, that a new tool on the platform for virtual hangouts that will now allow up to 50 people and will also allow friends to drop in at any time. This feature is double WhatsApp’s capacity on video calls, plus has new features for Facebook Dating and Instagram Live.
(Photo : Screenshot From: Messenger News on Facebook)
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Back in April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced all of the features in a live stream.
In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg said that “Video presence isn’t a new area for us, but it’s an area that we want to go deeper in, and it fits the overall theme, which is that we’re shifting more resources in the company to focus on private communication and private social platforms, rather than just the traditional broader ones. So this is a good mix: we’re building tools into Facebook and Instagram that are helping people find smaller groups of people to then go have more intimate connections with, and be able to have private sessions with.”
You can set limits on who can join the video chat, or you can also make it public to anyone as long as they have the link. Even those with no Facebook account can join.
Facebook’s Vice President of Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky, wrote in a blog post that “You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for you to drop by whenever you want. You can choose who can see and join your room or remove people from your room and lock the room if you don’t want anyone else to join.”
If the user decides to make the entire video chat public, it will automatically show up at the top of the News Feed for all your friends to see. Facebook said that users need to be aware and cautious when doing so and that they need think about where they want to put the link.
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Zoombombing-free video chat service
This entire product was developed as the pandemic has forced millions of people to stay at home and rely on video conferencing applications, especially when it comes to working from home, schooling, and gaming. It has been reported that over 700 million people are currently making calls on both WhatsApp and Facebook every day.
As Facebook saw Zoom’s popularity surge in the face of privacy and security concerns, the company said that Messenger Rooms was designed and created with very strong privacy controls.
“A lot of the time that I’ve spent on this over the last few weeks as we’ve been building this out and getting ready to ship has been on privacy, security, integrity reviews, and how do we make sure that a lot of the use cases that have been problematic around Zoom are not going to be things that are replicated here,” said Zuckerberg.
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