Facebook introduces Messenger Rooms for 50-person video meetings

Facebook is tapping into the video meeting craze with the introduction of Messenger Rooms. In a blog post, Facebook said that Rooms is rolling out in “some countries” this week and will expand to the rest of the world in coming weeks.

Users can create a room directly from Messenger or Facebook, and invite anyone to join their video call, whether they have a Facebook account or not. Facebook said that rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit.

Users can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, and Facebook said it will soon make it possible to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal.

Users will see any rooms that are open to them on Facebook, and when someone is invited to a room, they can join from their phone or computer with no download required. Users joining via the Messenger app can tap into AR effects including immersive 360 backgrounds and mood lighting.

When someone creates a room, they can choose who can see and join it. They can remove people from the room and lock a room if they don’t want anyone else to enter. Facebook said it is also planning to enable group voice and video calls with up to eight people on WhatsApp.