On a livestream announcement this past Friday, Facebook announced that Messenger Rooms, a new drop-in video chat room for up to 50 people, will be launching globally and rolling out over the next few weeks.
Taking aim at Zoom, they will be introducing Messenger Rooms with no time limit and a low barrier to entry to join. Anyone with a Facebook account can create and share a room, and those joining the chat don’t need a Facebook account to access it. Facebook also has plans to bring rooms to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal.
With Messenger Rooms, you can choose if you want to make the room open or keep it locked and share out links to invite people to join in directly, or post the link to groups or event pages.
The interface looks a bit like Houseparty, where you pop in and out of rooms that your friends are in a bit less formally than a Zoom call. If you have the Messenger app, you’ll also be able to use all the AR effects, plus some new AI-powered features like mood lighting and dynamic 360 degree backgrounds.
This isn’t Facebook’s first attempt at cloning Houseparty, they launched Bonfire in September 2017 and later shut it down in May 2019.
If you’re looking for a casual way to hang out with friends or coworkers while working from home, Chatparty launched recently with a different spin, casual video chats with no audio.
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