Messenger Rooms: how Facebook news works
Zoom, Skype, Houseparty, and now also Messenger Rooms. A rich dish, I stick with it: as soon as Facebook smelled the boom of group video chats, it dived. But instead of buying the right app, as it did in the past with Whatsapp and Instagram, this time he decided to do everything at home, adding a new option to Messenger, the messaging system we use when we communicate with our friends on Facebook. The rooms, in this case, are “rooms”, where up to 50 people can enter.
What is Messenger Rooms
Modeled on apps such as Zoom and Houseparty, Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s approach to videoconferencing: it allows us to speak with up to 50 people simultaneously and there is no time limit on calls. When we set up a new call, a notification appears on the home page of our friends and followers, so they can take immediate action. If our friends or communities create rooms open to us, however, we will see them on the Facebook home screen and we will be able to enter them both from the phone and from the computer, without having to download anything. If we choose to use Rooms from the smartphone messenger app, however, we can also play with AR effects such as bunny ears and new AI-based features such as 360-degree backgrounds and lighting, which are the weak point of the various video conferencing apps.
How to open a Messenger Room
Creating a room is easy: just open the Facebook Messenger app, click “friends” at the bottom right and then “Create a room”. The next step is to choose who can participate. The options are 2: “people with the link” and “only people on Facebook”. In the first case, the mechanism closely resembles that of Zoom: everyone can participate, without necessarily being registered with Facebook or in any case without going through their official account. In the second one, the call is reserved for members. But in any case, when we create a room, we choose who can see it and reach it. And we can also remove people from the call and close a room if we don’t want someone else to enter, just like in Houseparty.
The universality of Facebook is also reflected in its ease of use. We can send the invitation to participate in a conversation to our contacts via links, following the instructions on the smartphone. The controls of Rooms are few and intuitive. The three at the top right are used to change the smartphone camera, activate or deactivate the video and end the conversation. That’s all.
Recent controversy over Facebook’s use of our data has prompted developers to point out that the platform will not be able to listen to our conversations. But people will be able to report a room for violating the rules, although it is unclear how customer service can then intervene.
In the future
Like all Facebook tools, Rooms is also experiencing the advanced experimentation phase. The idea is to expand it also Whatsapp and Instagram, the two apps owned by Facebook which – according to the well-informed – could unify the 3 messaging systems in the future, creating the most widespread communication system in the western hemisphere. With all due respect to apps such as Zoom and Houseparty that could be added to the list of those that Facebook has put out of the game in its conquest of the universe of communication. From Friendfeed to Snapchat, a long list.