Good news for people with more than 8 friends

by | Apr 27, 2020

Facebook announced a slew of new video-calling features including Messenger Rooms, which allows users to host video calls of up to 50 people.

“Can everyone hear me?”: The new video features arrive as more users turn to Facebook apps to socialize with their friends and family while remaining in quarantine as a result of the pandemic.

Messenger Rooms poses an immediate threat to Zoom and Houseparty, two video-calling products that have seen their usage skyrocket over the past month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Shares of Zoom, which had been up 3% on the day, fell as much as 5% on the news.

Messenger Rooms will allow you to create group video calls of up to 50 of your closest friends. By contrast, Messenger video calls are limited to eight people.

For comparison:

  • Zoom allows up to 100 people to video chat for free for up to 40 minutes.
  • Houseparty supports up to eight people.

Pros and Cons: Video calls on Messenger Rooms will include features like augmented reality filters that allow people to add silly masks to their faces. (But I just learned how to change my Zoom background?) Also, they have no time limit. For those of you who relied on the time limit to get out of boring family Zoom meetings, you have my deepest condolences.

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