This just in: Facebook is launching a new video chat feature to Messenger. Called Messenger Rooms, it will allow you to invite up to 50 guests to your video call. “You can start a video chat Room that friends can discover via a new section above the News Feed or notifications Facebook will automatically send to your closest pals. You can also just invite specific friends, or share a link anyone can use to join your Room,” reports TechCrunch. According to CNet.com, you also don’t have to have a Facebook account to use it, either, and there won’t be any time limits placed on the calls.
Similar to Zoom, “while in a room, you can play with Facebook’s augmented reality filters or swap out your real-life background for a virtual one. Some backgrounds offer 360-degree views of exotic locales, the company said. And a new slate of AR filters will help brighten up dark rooms or touch up users’ appearances,” The Verge reports.
“The major difference between video calling and video rooms is that with video calling, you’re actually calling someone and ringing their phone. With video rooms, you set up a room and invite people ahead of time, usually by sending a link,” Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg relayed to CNet.
If you’re worried about privacy and security issues, “Room calls are not end-to-end encrypted, but Facebook says it does not view or listen to calls. The creator of a room can remove participants at any time, and rooms where illicit behavior is taking place can be reported to Facebook,” writes The Verge.
This feature will also later be rolling out to other Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
Aside from this, Facebook is also launching other new features focused on live videos. For one, they’re bringing back the Live With feature which allows users to stream alongside other people. There will now be donation buttons on Facebook lives, too, as well as an option to go “live via audio” only.
One of the more interesting new features that will soon be added, though, is Facebook Virtual Dating. This feature is open for people on Facebook Dating (the dating app side of the platform). “The social network is planning to introduce a new video calling feature that will allow users of its Facebook Dating service to connect and video call over Messenger, as an alternative to going on a real-world date,” writes TechCrunch.
As of writing, Messenger Rooms is already being rolled out to users around the world, although we’re not so sure when the other features will be coming in.