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Messenger Rooms – An Alternative to HouseParty, Zoom Meetings for Group Videos Calls

Facebook has unveiled a group video chat feature, “Messenger Rooms”, to rival the likes of Zoom and HouseParty app.

As Facebook explains in a blog post, Messenger Rooms isn’t a separate app but rather a feature that can be launched from the existing Facebook or Messenger apps. This follows on from the unified Facebook Messenger Desktop app for Windows and macOS that was launched last month.

Facebook Messenger already had video chat functionality, but it was limited both in the total number of people allowed to participate, and also in its requirement that all of them have a Facebook account.

With the new Messenger Rooms, that changes. First up, you can host video chats of up to 50 people, and those who don’t have a Facebook account can still join – they’ll receive a link to the Room you have created. With one click they can then join the conversation – just like with Zoom. Importantly, Messenger Rooms has no time limit whatsoever.

You can launch a Room from the News Feed composer, Groups, Events, the Messenger inbox, and soon Instagram Direct’s video chat button, WhatsApp, and Portal. Friendcs can discover your Messenger Rooms ia a new section above the News Feed or from notifications Facebook will automatically send to your closest pals. And Rooms you create through a Facebook Group are open by default to members of that Group.

facebook messenger rooms app for group video chats alternative to zoom houseparty video conferencing apps

If you join a Room through the Messenger app, then you can play with AR effects and you will have the ability to choose a virtual background to cover up what’s behind you on a video call, including 360 backgrounds that look different as you move around, plus mood lighting to make you look better on camera.

The creator of a Messenger Room chooses who can see and join it, and can remove anyone from the call at any time, as well as lock the Room if they don’t want anyone else to enter. And you can of course leave a Room whenever you want.

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