Facebook's new group video chat feature Messenger Rooms is getting ready to compete with services like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams, as more people turn to video chat amid coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines.
Facebook users will soon be able to create a video chat room via Facebook or the Messenger app and invite up to 50 people to join a video call -- even if they don't have a Facebook account. There will be no time limits on calls.
Messenger Rooms arrives as some people are looking for an alternative to Zoom, which has faced a number of security and privacy issues in the past two months. (If you are still using Zoom, you can take steps to lock down your meetings and prevent Zoombombing, and learn other hidden tips and tricks).
Facebook Messenger Rooms will be rolling out in certain countries this week before expanding globally, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a livestream on Friday. Keep reading for Facebook Messenger Rooms' stance on privacy, and how to get started using the new video chat platform.
While Facebook has also grappled with many security and privacy problems, Zuckerberg said in the livestream that the company has been "very careful" and tried to "learn the lessons" from issues with other video conference tools in recent months.
More than 700 million accounts participate in voice and video calls every day on Facebook Messenger and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and the number of calls has more than doubled in many areas since the coronavirus outbreak began, the company said in a press release.