The concept of large group calls has become widespread with the coronavirus crisis keeping people at home. The popularity of video calling apps like Zoom seems to have triggered Facebook to join the race. And now Facebook has released it’s own answer called Facebook Messenger Rooms. This is just an expanded version of the video calling feature of the Facebook Messenger. But video calls on Facebook Messenger was limited in terms of people who can join and everyone needed a Facebook account. Also Read - Facebook Messenger gets a new two-tabbed redesign with focus on people, removes discover tab
But with Messenger Rooms, the upper limit of the people who can join in has been increased to 50. Besides this, those that don’t have a Facebook account can also join in. The person who creates a Messenger room will have a link generated which can be shared and used to join the room. Another big feature is that there will be no time limit to the video calls made from Messenger rooms. Users can join a Messenger Room using the Messenger app. Also Read - Facebook Messenger will now require users to sign in with a Facebook account
Users will also be able to use AR effects and new features like immersive backgrounds and mood lighting. The owner of a Room will retain control and can choose who can see and join the room. They can even eject people from the room at any time they want. The Rooms can be locked as well to restrict the people who enter it. Rooms can also be created through a Facebook group and it can be joined by the members of the Group. Also Read - Flaw in Facebook Messenger Kids app allowed children to chat with strangers
In terms of security, Facebook says that Rooms calls don’t yet have end-to-end encryption because “there are significant challenges” to such security in a video call with large number of people. But apparently it is working towards such a solution in the future. Meanwhile the content of Rooms is encrypted between the participants and the Facebook servers are “placed in only a handful of countries that have strong rule of law”. Facebook has also clarified that it does not listen in on the calls on Rooms. Messenger rooms is rolling out “in some countries” this week, and will expand globally “in the coming weeks”.