Forget Zoom & Houseparty, Facebook’s Messenger Room Is Here

Mark Zuckerberg just couldn’t let anyone else in the tech scene hog the spotlight for too long. Zoom had been the staple for many as the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lock downs globally for their video conferencing needs. Now, Facebook have unveiled their take on video conferencing with Messenger Rooms.

Their native Messenger app did have video calls, but there was a limit to how many people could join, and they would need a Facebook account.

Messenger Rooms on the other hand, can host video chats of up to 50 people, and you don’t need a Facebook account to use it. People who don’t have a Facebook account, can join via a link to the Room that’s been created. They’ll just have to tap the link to join. The other important thing about Messenger Rooms is it has no time limit for use.

For expanded features, you’ll probably want a Facebook account, because if you use Room through the Messenger app, you can use AR effects, immersive backgrounds, and mood lighting.

Of course, the Room is controlled by the person who created it, and they will be able to control who can see, join, and can remove unwanted people at the call at anytime. There’s also an option to lock the Room if the creator doesn’t want anyone else in the chat. Rooms created via a Facebook Group, are open by default to members of said Group.

Though, Facebook does mention that Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted because “there are significant challenges” to encryption for video calls with large groups of people. They do go on to say that they are actively working towards this for the future.

Messenger Rooms is rolling out “in some countries” this week, and will be available globally “in the coming weeks”.

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