Few digital tools have grown more in this age of confinement than Zoom. The group video call service had 10 million users in December last year and is now up to 300 million. Microsoft with Skype and Google with Meet are replicating some of its features. They are now adding Facebook with Messenger Rooms, a new feature that allows video calls with up to 50 people, custom backgrounds, grid view and more features.
Messenger Rooms will gradually reach users in different countries around the world in the next few days. The idea is, as its name indicates, to create “rooms”. These rooms will appear on our Facebook profile and anyone who sees them (if they are made public and if allowed by the creator) can join them. The rooms can be created from Facebook or from Messenger, your instant messaging app/web.
If a friend creates one of these spaces and shares it with the user, it will appear on their Facebook or Messenger wall in a similar way to the stories, with the option to join directly. It is interesting that people who do not even have a Facebook account can also join if the “room” is shared with them, in which case they will be asked for some initial data such as name, although they will not have to create an account to enter the video call.
You can access a video call both from your mobile (via the Facebook or Messenger app) and from your browser. Once inside Messenger Rooms, you can see all the users at the same time in the grid format that has made Zoom so popular. Other features are augmented reality effects such as filters for the face, change the background, improve lighting or “immersive 360º backgrounds”.