Facebook launches video chat app to rival Zoom

Facebook has launched its new video chat service – Messenger Rooms – for all mobile and desktop users.

The feature lets users create a video chat room and invite up to 50 people to participate in calls with no time limit.

This comes as the company has experienced a substantial increase in voice and video traffic on its messaging platforms.

“Between Messenger and WhatsApp, more than 700 million accounts participate in voice and video calls every day, and the number of calls has more than doubled in many countries since the pandemic began,” Facebook said.

“In some cases, the number of group video calls has gone up by more than 10 times,” it added.

The company said Facebook users in North America will be able to start a room via Facebook, while users from around the rest of the world will have to use Messenger.

Participants will not require a Facebook account or the Messenger app to join a call, and they will be able to access rooms via their browser.

How to use Messenger Rooms

To create a session in Messenger Rooms on your phone, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Messenger mobile app.
  • Tap the “People” tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select the “Active” tab.
  • Tap “Create a Room” to start the session.
  • You will be provided with a link to invite people to join the call.

To use the feature from within your browser, click on the Messenger icon on Facebook.com.

The option to create a new room will be at the top of the tab, next to the button that maximises the Messenger interface.

Room creators will be able to choose who can see and join a room, remove people from it, and lock the room if they don’t want anyone else to join the call.

You can also change the settings on the room to only allow Facebook account users to access the call.

Facebook noted the ability to host up to 50 people is being rolled out gradually, so it might take some time to become available on your device.

It said it will continue to add more features to Messenger Rooms in the coming months.

Now read: Zoom to detail plans for end-to-end encryption

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Facebook launches video chat app to rival Zoom