Facebook has launched a new video-calling feature called Messenger Rooms that will enable teleconferencing with up to 50 users simultaneously without any time-limit. Available in both Facebook and Messenger, the new feature will enable users to create a ‘room’ from within the chat option in either app, and invite anyone to join their video call, irrespective of whether they have a Facebook account.
According to Facebook, the chat rooms can been started and shared through News Feed, Groups and Events, making it easy to add new people to the chats. What’s more, the company says it will soon add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal as well. The new service will make it easy to spend quality time with friends and loved ones, the company said in a blog post over the weekend.
The launch follows the soaring popularity of video chat apps like Zoom and Skype that have gained millions of new users over the past few weeks as social-distancing and Work-from-Home have become the new normal amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
In its official press release, Facebook said: “If your friends or communities create rooms that are open to you, you’ll see them on Facebook so you can find things to do and people to hang out with. When you’re invited to a room, you can join from your phone or computer — no need to download anything to get started”. Messenger Rooms has started rolling out in some countries and will expand to the rest of the world in coming weeks.
Facebook is also expanding the number of people that can be added to WhatsApp video and voice calls simultaneously. Soon, users will be able to have group voice and video calls with up to eight people with end-to-end encryption, the company said.