Facebook recently rolled out Messenger Rooms, a virtual hangout that allows up to 50 people to video chat. The new tool will challenge Zoom, who has amassed over 300 million users as people stay home because of the pandemic.
The video chat functionality has always been on Facebook Messenger, but with limited users. With Messenger Rooms, up to 50 people can join in. What’s more, you don’t even need a Facebook account to participate. Users can send you a link to the room, allowing you to enter the video chat.
Messenger Rooms also support AR effects for those using the Messenger app. Users can also start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, allowing people to easily drop by. Later, Facebook said it will also add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal.
Apart from Messenger Rooms, Facebook is also expanding WhatsApp Group Calls and will allow video calls of up to eight people. Previously, only four WhatsApp users can participate in a group.
Messenger Rooms will initially become available in select countries first, before a global roll out in the coming weeks.