The internet, combined with video calling apps and instant messengers, makes it far more comfortable to work or study from home in these Corona pandemic days. Apps like Zoom are killing it right now, despite the many privacy and security worries that were unearthed in previous weeks.
Unsurprisingly, if an app that has a social component becomes popular for any reason, Facebook will be right there to try to replicate its features as well as its success. And Facebook is doing exactly that with Zoom, as it lines up its own competitor for the popular video calling application.
Well, in the recent past, Zoom has been the defacto video calling service for professional purposes. It’s no secret that governments across the world used Zoom at these times of corona pandemic and now they are trying to avoid Zoom for internal meetings after the app was found to be a security and privacy nightmare.
Since most of the world are trying their best to stay at home, people have turned to video calling apps to stay connected. Messenger Rooms will work similarly to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet.
The new Facebook product posses a direct threat to Zoom, which has been the clear winner in the video conferencing war. However, Zoom has been on the receiving end of privacy issues and Facebook hopes that their new service will offer a proper alternative to users.
While making the announcement, Facebook CEO Marck Zuckerberg said that Messenger Rooms will be available to everyone and not just Facebook users.
Introducing Messenger Rooms, group video calls that you can start and share via @messenger @facebookapp and soon @instagram @whatsapp and @portalfacebook. We’re testing Rooms in a few countries now and plan to roll it out globally in the coming weeks. pic.twitter.com/kQWb2nbPzY
— Facebook (@Facebook) April 24, 2020
Messenger Rooms Features
As the name suggests, the feature will let you create Rooms to talk with friends. Once a Room is created, you’ll be able to add up to 50 people, regardless of whether they have a Facebook account or not. Anyone with a Facebook account can use it to log into Messenger. Otherwise, you’ll need the link to the room, which can be used in a browser.
The Rooms app will let you activate and deactivate the video stream, just like in Zoom or Meet, and share the screen of your PC or mobile device. And more importantly, users will soon be able to create and join Rooms through Instagram, WhatsApp, and Portal, plus join them from the web without an account, making this Facebook’s first truly interoperable product.
Messenger Rooms, however, aren’t end-to-end encrypted, Facebook also explains. Instead, it’s encrypted only in transit from your device to Facebook’s servers.