Facebook has launched Messenger Rooms to compete with the booming popularity of Zoom in the midst of the pandemic. Facebook Messenger already had video chatting functionality but now it will let you host a video call with up to 50 people through Rooms.
Facebook Messenger originally allowed only a few video call participants and all of them needed to have a Facebook account as well. Now with Messenger Rooms, both of these limitations have been eliminated since it allows up to 50 members and there are no login requirements.
Just like Zoom, the host only needs to send a link to participants and anyone can join the conversation with a single click. There will be no time limit for video calls either.
The host can choose who can see or join conversations and remove anyone at any time. Rooms can also be locked so no new members can join. Video calls started in a group will be open to all of the group members by default but this setting can also be changed any time.
For now, video calls in Messenger Rooms are not protected with end to end encryption since “there are significant challenges” to providing this feature but Facebook is actively working on introducing it soon. However, the data is encrypted between chat members and Facebook servers and the company promises that it does not spy on private video calls.
Messenger Rooms will roll out to “some countries” this week and a global rollout will follow in the coming weeks.