Updated: May 10, 2020 11:42:29 am
Last month Facebook announced a host of new features to deliver a seamless experience to users. From Messenger Rooms to extending WhatsApp group call limit to eight to Instagram group live feature, Facebook is slowly rolling out all these new features globally. With Messenger Rooms, Facebook aims to take on the likes of other video calling platforms such as the popular Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and many others.
Amid the coronavirus lockdown, video calling platforms have become the lifeline for people working from home or living far away from their families. Platforms like Zoom, Google Duo, Skype, Google Hangouts and others have received a great response for users across the world. The latest report coming from Sensor Tower suggests that in April 2020 Zoom is the most downloaded app in the world, and it’s India that accounted for maximum downloads despite the Indian government warning people to not use Zoom due to privacy issues.
To compete with Zoom and other similar platforms Facebook introduced Messenger Rooms last month via a Facebook Live. At the time of announcing the feature and some other Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Messenger Rooms will be supported across WhatsApp, Instagram, and also Portal. This is the first sign of Facebook working towards integrating Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram as suggested in the past. The idea behind integrating the platforms is to offer a seamless experience to users all across Facebook family apps.
WhatsApp for Web gets Messenger Rooms support
A new report coming from WABetaInfo, a blog that tracks all the upcoming WhatsApp features and is mostly true, suggests that the instant messaging platform has started testing Messenger Rooms on the WhatsApp Desktop version already. The report states that the feature is already available to some WhatsApp for Web users already. The feature is reportedly available on WhatsApp Web version 2.2019.6.
The latest WhatsApp for Web version reported gets a shortcut for Messenger Rooms on clicking which users will be automatically taken to the Messenger Rooms window to start the video call with their friends. Users can either start the group video call or Messenger Rooms call from either WhatsApp or either Messenger. The report also claims that the feature will ask the users if they wish to create a room from WhatsApp or wish to head over to Facebook Messenger to create the room.
The report didn’t mention as to when the Messenger Rooms support will arrive for all WhatsApp users. But the commercial rollout of the feature may take some time given Messenger Rooms is yet to be made available to everyone across the globe. India is also among the markets that are yet to get the feature.
According to Facebook, the hosts of the Messenger Rooms call will be able to invite anyone and everyone they want to join the video conference. To join the video chat a person needn’t have a Facebook account or be friends with the host on Facebook. The host can simply send the call link — similar to Zoom or any other platforms — and people can click on it to join. The host will be able to invite people to the video call from the news feed, events page, and so on. Messenger Rooms can add 50 people at a time on a video call.
Besides WhatsApp, Facebook also confirmed that Messenger Room shortcut will be available on Instagram as well as Portal in the days to come.
How to use Messenger Rooms
Using Messenger Rooms is as easy as using any other application. To start a Messenger Rooms call the host will simply need to create a room first by clicking on the video icon on Facebook Messenger and share the room link with people suppose to join. The best thing about Messenger Rooms is anyone — with or without a Facebook account — will be able to join the Messenger Rooms. You can join the call through a phone or PC, whichever suits you better.
Similar to all other video conference platforms the host of the call will be the only one who can add people to the call and must be present in order to initiate a call. If the host leaves that call will end for every participant. The host has more power — he/she can remove a participant or add one. If a participant leaves the call the room automatically locks for that person.
WhatsApp Group calls
Alongside Messenger Rooms, Facebook is also attracting users from WhatsApp group calls. In addition to Messenger Rooms, the company also announced the extension of group call participants on WhatsApp. Until last month only four people could have a group voice or video call. With the latest update, WhatsApp group call — both voice and video — has doubled to eight. WhatsApp has already rolled out the update to users globally — both iOS and Android.
To experience the new update group WhatsApp call feature users must first update the app. The feature comes with the latest version of the app. Users can start a WhatsApp video or voice call either directly from a group or select participants individually. All calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted.
Recently, WhatsApp has rolled out several new features to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. From limiting forwarded messages to introducing new WhatsApp stickers, the instant messaging platform has done it all.
In the days to come, WhatsApp is reportedly going to introduce some new features including the long-awaited support for multi-device. This feature will allow users to use one WhatsApp account on more than one device at a time which isn’t possible for now. The messaging platform is yet to reveal the rollout timeline of the multi-device support feature. Read to know more about multiple-device supports coming to WhatsApp.
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