Facebook launched a 50-person video chat room on 24 April to answer the demand for real-time video connectivity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Messenger Rooms doesn’t have a time limit and users may invite anyone to join the video call even if the invited person doesn’t have a Facebook account. The company is also bringing back the “Live With” service so Facebook Live hosts can invite another person to their live stream.
“Host celebrations, gather a book club or just hang out on the couch with friends. You don’t need to call someone and hope it’s a good time or check everyone’s calendar first. You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by,” the Facebook announcement says.
According to the company, it will soon add Rooms to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal. WhatsApp users will be able to have an encrypted video call with up to eight people on the platform and Instragram Direct will allow users to watch and comment on live videos from their desktop, as well as record videos on IGTV. The company will also allow enable Portal users to broadcast on Facebook pages and communities. Messenger Kids will also see expansion to more than 70 countries and the Facebook Dating platform will now allow users to have virtual dates in the coming months.