Facebook recently announced a new group video chat feature called Messenger Rooms. The new service is likely to compete with already existing services like Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom, as more people turn to video chat amid COVID-19 lockdowns.
With the help of the Messenger app, Facebook users will soon be able to create a video chat room and invite up to 50 recipients to join a video call, even without having a Facebook account. Also, there will be no time limits set on the video calls.
Messenger Rooms is coming in the market at a time when many people are looking for an alternative to Zoom, due to a number of privacy and security issues.
Before expanding globally, Facebook Messenger Rooms will be launched in certain countries in the coming week. While Facebook has also been grappled with privacy and security issues in the past, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook claimed that they have been quite careful this time and have tried to learn the lessons from issues with other video conference tools observed in the recent months.
The company said in a press release, over 700 million accounts partake in video and voice calls on a daily basis on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which is also a Facebook company, and the number of calls have more than doubled since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
The privacy protection offered by Messenger Rooms includes the ability to control who sees your room and can lock/unlock it. When it is unlocked, others having the link can join in the room. However, the creator of the room has to be present at the beginning of the call. The users can control who can join and may remove participants at any time. People can also report a room if they violate Facebook rules.