The importance of video calls have never been felt as strongly as they are today, ever since the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns in countries across the globe. And companies like Zoom have been able to capitalize on that importance, by having apps that cater to the specific need of allowing groups of friends and families to stay connected with one another from the safety of their homes.
In a bid to tap into that emerging need, Facebook is introducing a new feature called Messenger Rooms across its apps, namely Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The new feature would allow up to 50 people to take part in a video conference. And unlike other Facebook features, the new one doesn’t require users to have a Facebook account to use it.
Users would be able to create “rooms” and set who will be able to enter them. This can be friends or anyone that has the link to that particular room. They can also choose to lock their rooms whenever they want, which would prevent additional users from entering them. They can also set augmented reality backgrounds for their rooms, which can be viewed in full 360 degrees.
The primary idea behind the new feature, according to John Hegeman, vice president of news feed for Facebook, is to allow users to drop in and out of these video calls as they please, much like they could in a physical space. “In the physical world,” he said in a statement, “you have the ability to bump into people… so, we’re hopeful that some of that serendipity will be able to occur in this product.”
Messenger Rooms is already available in certain countries, following tests in Argentina and Poland, with a global rollout planned in the weeks to come. What do you think about the new feature? Would you be giving it a try? Let us know in the comments section below.