It is introducing several new tools designed to expand its existing video capabilities. For instance, it8217;s announcing Messenger Rooms, a new way to join group video calls with up to 50 people. It8217;s like a virtual hangout where friends can just drop in just to say hi. Facebook also announced it is allowing WhatsApp group video calls to now include eight people, up from four.
It8217;s adding video calls to Facebook Dating, as well, and new live-streaming features to both Facebook and Instagram. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced these features in a live stream during a global pandemic that is keeping millions of people inside and away from their loved ones.
He said more than 700 million people are making calls on Messenger and Whatsapp every day. So, Facebook is doubling-down on private communication and trying to help people connect in smaller groups. Here8217;s what you need to know, including about Messenger Rooms.
Facebook is rolling out a video-calling feature called Messenger Rooms. It allows you and up to 49 others to join a group video call, which Facebook calls a 8220;room8221;. You’ll be able to start a room from Messenger, Facebook, Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, or Portal, and you can open the call to all or lock it to stop uninvited people from joining. You can remove participants, too.
While in a room, you can use Facebook’s augmented reality filters and change out your background to a virtual one. Facebook is including 360-degree views of exotic locations for backgrounds, and it8217;s working on beauty filters as well as filters designed to brighten a dark room.
Facebook8217;s Messenger Rooms feature is now available globally in the Facebook Messenger app. It8217;s also going live in the Facebook app for some countries. It will roll out globally to Facebook in the coming weeks (in May 2020). Messenger Rooms are coming to all of Facebook8217;s products, starting with Messenger and Facebook, and then Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal.
Facebook Live is resurrecting a feature called Live With, which enables you to invite another person to stream with you. The donate button is coming to live streams as well, so you can raise money from broadcasts during the pandemic. And Facebook is adding a virtual date option to Facebook Dating, essentially allowing you to make a video call with the feature.
Simply put: Alternatives to Messenger and WhatsApp 8211; including ones focused on video calling 8211; are surging in popularity at the moment. For consumers, there is Zoom, which now has more than 3000 million students. And then, for teams or students who use G Suite or Microsoft 365, there is Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, respectively. The point is: Facebook has stiff competition.
If it wants to keep consumers hooked on its apps and services, then it needs to be nimble and innovative, especially during times of crisis. Facebook is clearly paying attention to consumers, trends, and world events, and it8217;s responding in an impressive way. It8217;s no coincidence that Messenger Rooms and these other video features are arriving at a time when many need them most.