Facebook has introduced a Houseparty-esque group video chat feature, along with Snapchat-style ‘fun 3D masks’, to Messenger – as it borrows a few more ideas from other platforms.
The group video feature enables up to six people to be on the device in split-screen, while up to 50 people can join in to either just listen or talk via voice chat. The six participants in the video chat will be able to use the virtual masks to spice up their conversations.
Messenger product manager Stephane Taine said: “More and more people use messaging in groups for lots of different reasons like keeping everyone up to date, planning a family vacation or to share a few jokes.
“With 245 million people making video calls in Messenger every month, now we’re bringing everyone on Messenger the ability to turn group chats into face-to-face conversations no matter where you are – whether you’re down the street or halfway across the world.”
To start group video chat, the latest version of Messenger will be required. Once updated, users can begin the chat by entering an existing group conversation, or creating a new one, and tapping the video icon on the upper right of the screen. This notifies everyone in the group, each of whom can join when they are ready with a single tap.
Facebook’s group video feature comes just as Kik introduced a video chat feature of its own.