Facebook launches ‘Messenger Rooms’ as a Zoom and Group FaceTime alternative
Nipping at Facebook’s heels is video rooms where many users can chat and share screens simultaneously. Not wanting to fall behind, Facebook has launched Messenger Rooms.
For now, up to 8 people can join, but that limit will rise to 50 within weeks, making it a more legitimate alternative to Zoom for big happy hours and such. And more importantly, users will soon be able to create and join Rooms through Instagram, WhatsApp, and Portal, plus join them from the web without an account, making this Facebook’s first truly interoperable product.
Host celebrations, organize a book club or just hang out on the couch with friends. You don’t need to call someone and hope it’s a good time or check everyone’s calendar first. You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by. Soon we’ll add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal, too.
On top of inviting friends or family to participate in video calls, the new feature also allows hosts to invite those who don’t own a Facebook account. Messenger Rooms sessions can be shared on Facebook through News Feed, Groups, and Events so it’s easier for others to drop by.
Launching today on mobile and desktop, 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.
Look out for the pop-alert the next time you launch Facebook on your iPhone, iPad, or on the web to start a video chat with Messenger Rooms. Facebook has launched Messenger Rooms in “a few countries” however it hasn’t said which ones those are for now before a global rollout of the new feature.