Facebook to compete against Zoom with Messenger Rooms

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The demand set off by the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed social media giant Facebook to set its sights on large-capacity video-conferencing market.

With the newly introduced Messenger Rooms functionality, even non-Facebook account holders can join in on calls with other users on a conference that can hold up to 50 people. It is also possible to run these calls across an extended period of time since there is an evident absence of a time limit.

Similar as to how the conference calls in apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have room codes for select people to access, Messenger Rooms also shares that convenience and goes a little bit further by making the rooms easily shareable on Facebook’s News Feed, Groups, and Events.

This is handy for events or webinars targeting a specific group of people or communities with the same interest without having to individually select and provide a code to each user.

Although the rooms can be accessed through a mobile or computer without having to pre-install any application, users joining in through the Messenger app can use the built-in AR effects and AI-backed features like 360° backgrounds or subtle mood lighting.

One feature that Facebook is bringing back is called Live With, which can be useful for media companies conducting livestreamed interviews where they can now operate in-app instead of using a third-party software.

The software enables the user to start a live video and add another person livestreaming from a separate device. In the pipeline, Facebook plans to add an option where the video hosts can charge for event access on top of the current donate button for nonprofit fundraising initiatives.

Messenger Rooms is already rolling out in select countries and will hit globally in the upcoming weeks.

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