Facebook Messenger Rooms, a new video chat option for up to 50 people, can now be launched from the Instagram Direct inbox.
Messenger Rooms were just launched last month as part of Facebook’s rapid expansion of video capabilities.
Designed for spontaneous web-based hangouts, Messenger Rooms can be created and shared for anyone to join.
Unlike regular video calls, which require a direct invite, Messenger Rooms can be joined by clicking a shared link. That’s what makes them more casual than other video chat options.
Up to 50 users can join a Messenger Room at the same time. Users can drop in and out as the call goes on, which means a Room could potentially have hundreds of people go through it.
Creating a Facebook Messenger Room With Instagram
When Messenger Rooms first launched they could only be initiated from Facebook Messenger itself.
Now, in a move that could help spur adoption of the feature, Messenger Rooms can be created on Instagram.
An easy way to video chat with up to 50 of your favorite people? Yes please 🙋♀️
— Instagram (@instagram) May 21, 2020
When users select the video chat option in the Instagram direct messages inbox, there will now be an option to create a Messenger Room.
After tapping on ‘Create a Room’ users can invite anyone to join. Those who are invited to join will receive a link via direct message.
They can then join the call if they wish, and also invite others to join by sharing the same link.
Again, Messenger Rooms are designed to recreate the spontaneous nature of real life get togethers, which means there are minimal restrictions on who can pop in and out.
Messenger Rooms Still Hosted On Messenger
This update to Messenger Rooms provides a new way for people to initiate group video calls, but the actual calls still take place on the Messenger app.
Instagram users will have to switch over to Messenger in order to participate in a video chat.
So the update doesn’t fundamentally change how Messenger Rooms work, but it can help get this new feature out in front of more people.
It can also be useful in cases where there are people you’re connected with on Instagram but not on Facebook. You can now create a casual video chat with your Instagram connections on the fly.
Messenger Rooms can be joined even if you don’t have a Facebook account, so no one will be prevented from joining if a call is initiated on Instagram.
Group Video Chats Up 1,000%
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during the company’s earnings call this month that time on group video chats is up 1,000%.
Facebook is going through a video boom right now, which certainly can be attributed to people spending more time at home due to the pandemic.
In addition to group video chats, live streaming is another area seeing a rapid spike in user activity.
Back in March, Facebook announced live streaming is its highest priority. The company is even going so far as to pause work on other projects to focus on Facebook Live.
I suspect we’re in for many more updates to Facebook’s video capabilities in the near future, including more ways to monetize video content.