Facebook's new group video chat feature Messenger Rooms officially went live on Thursday and are ready to compete with services like Zoom, Skype Google Meet and Microsoft Team as more people turn to video chat during coronavirus lockdowns and quarantine .
Facebook users can create a video chat room through the Facebook or Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call – even if they do not have a Facebook account. There are no time limits for calls.
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Facebook reveals Messenger Rooms
Messenger Room arrives because some people are looking for an alternative to Zoom, which has been facing a number of security and privacy issues over the past two months. (If you are still using Zoom, you can take steps to lock your meetings and prevent Zoombombing and learn other hidden tips and tricks .
Facebook Messenger Rooms started rolling out in some countries earlier in May before expanding globally on Thursday Continue reading for Facebook Messenger Room's views on privacy and how to get started with the new video chat platform.
While Facebook has also struggled with many security and privacy issues CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a livestream earlier this month that the company has been "very careful" trying to "learn the lessons" from issues with other video conferencing tools the latest months.
More than 700 million accounts participate in voice and video calls every day on Facebook Messenger and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and the number of calls has more than doubled in many areas since the coronavirus outbreak began, the company said in a press release.
Messenger Room privacy protection includes the ability to control who sees your room and can lock or unlock it. If unlocked, anyone with the link can join and share the room with others. But the room creator must be present to start the conversation. They can control who can join and can remove participants at any time as well. People can report a room for violating the Facebook rules – even if these reports contain no video or audio from the conversation. Facebook doesn't listen to your calls at all, the company said.
How to create a Facebook Messenger Room
To create a room from your phone, make sure you have the latest version of the Facebook and Messenger mobile apps downloaded from the App Store or Google Play Store. Then follow these steps:
1 . Open the Messenger app.
2 . Click the People tab at the bottom right of the screen.
3. Tap Create a room and select the people you want to join.
4 . If you want to share a room with people who do not have a Facebook account, you can share the link with them. You can also share the room in your news feed, groups and events.
You can join a room from your phone or computer – no need to download anything, according to Facebook.
Facebook plans to add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal smart display. Features will include 14 camera filters and interchangeable backgrounds.
For more, check out 11 video chat app tricks for Zoom, Skype and FaceTime and how to stay healthy and entertain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic .
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