Facebook has introduced the new free Messenger Rooms video conferencing app, which allows up to 50 people to join a shared online chat. It is an attempt by Facebook, in the midst of a pandemic and the consequent group teleworking and tele-education, to gain lost ground from the increasingly popular Zoom.
The announcement by Facebook – which due to favorable circumstances internationally accelerated the operation of the new application, which was intended for later – resulted in the decline of the share of Zoom in the US stock market, which has recently risen significantly. Respectively, Facebook’s share had lower profits.
Facebook users will be able to share links that allow non-users to participate in Messenger Rooms video conferencing via the browser, or on their desktop, or on a mobile device, or smart »Mobile phone, without having to” download “a special application on their device or create an account.
Users will be able to “get in and out” of the “room” of video conferencing, and there will also be no time limit on Messenger Rooms video conferencing. If users want, they can keep their video conference “private”. Facebook has confirmed that they will not be able to “drill” uninvited annoying people in the video conferences, something that has stigmatized Zoom (the so-called “zoombombing” practice). In the first phase, video chats will not be fully encrypted, however, which can happen in the future.
Messenger Rooms will be accessible directly from the News Feed and other Facebook pages (Groups, Events, etc.), as well as from Messenger, and in the future access will be expanded to Instagram and WhatsApp, which belong to also in the “family” of Facebook. The latter announced that today more than 700 million accounts participate daily in calls through Messenger and WhatsApp applications. The company is planning – at the same time as Messenger Rooms – to expand group video calling (with the participation of only eight people instead of four so far) within WhatsApp, which has more users than Messenger.
The new Messenger Rooms app, originally tested in Argentina and Poland, will take a few weeks to be available to all Facebook users worldwide, according to the BBC and Reuters. Facebook has also confirmed that it will not listen to or record what is being said on video conferencing and video calls on its platforms.
In addition to Zoom, which has become the preference tool for many millions of people around the world, surpassing 300 million users, other platforms such as Microsoft Teams (the company also introduced the new Meet Now a few days ago) are experiencing significant growth due to mockery. Skype), Cisco Webex and Google Meet.