Looking to compete with the likes of Apple’s Group FaceTime and other services like Zoom, Houseparty, etc., Facebook is stepping into the group video conferencing market with Messenger Rooms, a service that allows up to 50 people to teleconference.
Mass video conferencing services capable of hosting high numbers of people have become popular in recent weeks, due to the stay-at-home orders and a push for home working prompted by COVID-19.
Messenger Rooms allows people to congregate in the same video call, with rooms soon to be capable of hosting up to 50 people with no time limit. This is up from the previous Messenger video call limit, which allowed up to eight people to converse.
Users will be able to start and share a room on Facebook itself via the News Feed, Groups, and Events, though the social network also hopes to introduce ways to make rooms via Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal in the future. Rooms created by friends and communities followed by the user will be shown to them within Facebook for easy joining.
MacDailyNews Take: For security and privacy, use Group FaceTime wherever possible (when you don’t have that one Android guy screwing up everything, as usual). God only knows what Facebook is doing with your video chat data.
Group FaceTime makes it easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. You can start a Group FaceTime from the FaceTime app or from a group conversation in the Messages app — and you can add up to 32 people. The tile of the person speaking gets larger automatically, so you’ll never lose track of the conversation.
To use Group FaceTime video calls, you need iOS 12.1.4 or later, or iPadOS on one of these devices: iPhone 6s or later, iPad Pro or later, iPad Air 2 or later, iPad mini 4 or later, iPad (5th generation) or later, or iPod touch (7th generation).