Facebook Rooms' new feature for group video calling competes with Zoom, Google Meets and Houseparty

Facebook RoomsFacebook
  • Facebook’s video calling feature called Rooms, will now allow users to go live for up to 50 people and stream the video on their profile or any page.
  • With the latest option to go live from Rooms, Facebook has only increased the competition with Zoom. Users have been streaming webinars live on Facebook through Zoom.
  • When Facebook had initially launched Rooms in April, its feature to lock the room was eerily similar to Houseparty’s feature.
With work from home becoming the new normal and video calls becoming the hangout zone, social media giant Facebook too wants in on the trend. It is betting on its video calling feature Rooms as an answer to Zoom and Google Meets and upping the game with more updates.

Facebook’s video calling feature called Rooms, which was officially launched for messenger in April, will now allow users to go live for up to 50 people and stream the video on their profile or any page. Through rooms, users can invite people to go live even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

Facebook has introduced the live option as the company said that live broadcasts from pages on the social media platform doubled in June 2020 from the same time last year, largely attributed to broadcasts since March 2020.

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“As a room creator, you can broadcast your room to a Profile, Page or Group, and invite people to tune in. By bringing Messenger Rooms and Facebook Live together, we’re unlocking new ways for people to connect and create content even while they’re apart,” said Facebook’s statement.

How does Facebook Rooms work

A user can create a room through the messenger app, by tapping on the people option and then ‘create a room’.

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The controls for the live broadcast will remain with the creator of the room. The creator can manage where the room is shared on Facebook, who can view the broadcast and who’s invited to participate. The creator can also add or remove users from the room and also ‘lock’ the room to ensure more users don’t enter the room.

Participants will get a notification to join the room.

Facebook ups its game - competes with Zoom, Google Meets and Houseparty

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With the latest option to go live from Rooms, Facebook has only increased the competition with Zoom. Users have been streaming webinars live on Facebook through Zoom. Facebook’s messenger rooms are currently restricted for 50 people whereas Zoom’s basic free plan allows 100 users whereas the other paid options can let you host meetings for as many as 1000 people. Meanwhile, Google Meets allows you to talk to 100 people at a time. Facebook rooms will also allow you to share your screen, much like Google Meets and Zoom.

However, while Zoom has so far been used for business meetings and webinars, Facebook Rooms is targeting group video calls between friends and family – much like Houseparty.

When Facebook had initially launched Rooms in April, its feature to lock the room was eerily similar to Houseparty’s feature. In both the platforms, you can create a room and unless you lock it, all the people on your friends list can view the room and also join it.

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