Updated: May 10, 2020 1:19:27 pm
Last month, Facebook announced a series of new features to offer a seamless user experience. From Messenger Rooms to extending the WhatsApp group call limit to eight to Instagram’s group live feature, Facebook is slowly rolling out all of these new features globally. With Messenger Rooms, Facebook aims to take on other video calling platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and many others.
Amid the coronavirus blockade, video calling platforms have become the lifesaver for people who work from home or who live far from their families. Platforms like Zoom, Google Duo, Skype, Google Hangouts and others have received a great response for users around the world. The latest Sensor Tower report suggests that, in April 2020, Zoom is the most downloaded app in the world, and it is India that posted the maximum downloads despite the Indian government warning people not to use Zoom due to privacy issues.
To compete with Zoom and other similar platforms, Facebook introduced Messenger Rooms last month through Facebook Live. At the time of announcing the feature, Mark Zuckerberg, another Facebook CEO, said that Messenger Rooms will be compatible with WhatsApp, Instagram and also Portal. This is the first sign that Facebook is working to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram as suggested in the past. The idea behind the integration of the platforms is to offer a perfect experience to the users of all the familiar Facebook applications.
WhatsApp for Web gets support for Messenger Rooms
A new report from WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks all of the upcoming WhatsApp features and is mostly true, suggests that the instant messaging platform has already started testing Messenger Rooms on the desktop version of WhatsApp. The report indicates that the function is already available for some WhatsApp users for web users. The feature is reportedly available in WhatsApp web version 2.2019.6.
What is Facebook Messenger Rooms and how to use it
The latest reported WhatsApp for Web version gets a shortcut to Messenger Rooms by clicking on which users will automatically be taken to the Messenger Rooms window to start the video call with their friends. Users can start the group video call or Messenger Rooms call from WhatsApp or Messenger. The report also states that the feature will ask users if they want to create a room from WhatsApp or if they want to go to Facebook Messenger to create the room.
The report did not mention when Messenger Rooms support will arrive for all WhatsApp users. But the commercial launch of the feature may take some time since Messenger Rooms is not yet available to everyone worldwide. India is also among the markets that have not yet received the feature.
According to Facebook, the hosts of the so-called Messenger Rooms will be able to invite anyone and everyone who wants to join the video conference. To join video chat, a person does not need to have a Facebook account or be a friend of the host on Facebook. The host can simply send the call link, similar to Zoom or any other platform, and people can click on it to join. The host will be able to invite people to the video call from the news service, the events page, etc. Messenger Rooms can add 50 people at a time in a video call.
In addition to WhatsApp, Facebook also confirmed that direct access to the Messenger Room will be available on Instagram and Portal in the coming days.
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How to use the messaging rooms
Using Messenger Rooms is as easy as using any other application. To initiate a call to Messenger rooms, the host will simply have to create a room by first clicking on the video icon in Facebook Messenger and sharing the room link with the people they are supposed to join. The best thing about Messenger Rooms is that anyone, with or without a Facebook account, can join Messenger Rooms. You can join the call via phone or PC, whichever suits you best.
Like all other video conferencing platforms, the host of the call will be the only one who can add people to the call and must be present to initiate a call. If the host leaves, the call will end for each participant. The host has more power: you can remove a participant or add one. If a participant leaves the call, the room is automatically locked for that person.
Group WhatsApp calls
Along with Messenger Rooms, Facebook is also attracting users of WhatsApp group calls. In addition to Messenger Rooms, the company also announced the extension of group call participants on WhatsApp. As of last month, only four people could have a group voice or video call. With the latest update, the WhatsApp group call, both voice and video, has doubled to eight. WhatsApp has already released the update to users worldwide, both iOS and Android.
To experience the new WhatsApp call update group feature, users must first update the app. The feature comes with the latest version of the app. Users can initiate a WhatsApp video or voice call directly from a group or select participants individually. All calls on WhatsApp are encrypted from end to end.
How to group voice and video calls using WhatsApp
Recently, WhatsApp has released several new features to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. From limiting forwarded messages to introducing new WhatsApp stickers, the instant messaging platform has done it all.
In the coming days, WhatsApp will introduce some new features, including long-awaited support for multiple devices. This feature will allow users to use a WhatsApp account on more than one device at a time, which is not possible at the moment. The messaging platform has yet to reveal the implementation timeline of the multi-device support feature. Read to know more about the supports for multiple devices that come to WhatsApp.
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