Facebook will launch Messenger Rooms, a videoconferencing service that allows up to 50 people to chat at once.
I guess you surprised, why will Facebook launch it’s own video call platform just like Houseparty, hangout and Zoom?
With Messenger Rooms, users can quickly make a Room, with or without a Facebook account, and invite up to 50 people in a video call with unlimited duration.
All of this is for free, without any limitations.
In a live-streamed announcement, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg billed it as another way Facebook can keep people connected.
“Video presence isn’t just about calling someone,” he said. “It is starting to be a fundamental building block of a private social platform with lots of new use cases.”
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Videoconferencing has become a necessity during the pandemic, as workers telecommute and families use video to stay in touch.
Zoom’s share price sank 3.7% from the day prior to about $163 in the minutes following the announcement, after hitting a record high of $181.50 earlier in the day.
The move in Facebook’s shares was less dramatic, up 2.4% from the previous day to $189.51.
It has even become a destination for happy hours and dance parties.
What’s in Facebook Messenger Rooms?
For now, users can create Facebook Rooms through News Feed, Groups and Events pages, but in the future, the functionality will be expanded to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and even Portal, Facebook’s hardware product.
The calls will work for you whether you are on the Messenger desktop app, mobile app or using it in the browser.
No downloads will be required to access the calls through a browser. However, people using Messenger app will be able to use various effects and backgrounds during a video call.
Before you ditch your current video conferencing app for Rooms, note that it lacks a number of features that makes products like Zoom and Skype popular, such as video recording, screen sharing and more.
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Facebook said Messenger Rooms will be free and won’t have a time limit. The new Facebook feature also allows people to drop in and join other rooms, or come and go as they please (though you can restrict who has access to your rooms) — much like the newly popular Houseparty app.
The Rooms feature is not end-to-end encrypted, because “there are significant challenges” to providing such encryption for video calling with large groups of people.
But Room content is encrypted between participants and the Facebook servers, which are “placed in only a handful of countries that have strong rule of law”.
Facebook says it will not “view or listen” to video calls.
WhatsApp, a messaging service owned by Facebook, will expand to allow eight people on each call, up from four now.
Facebook said 700 million people are chatting on daily video calls on Messenger and WhatsApp combined.
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