While Zoom has enough alternatives, it strengthens competition from another group video calling option – Facebook Messenger Rooms. The social network recently introduced a new service called Messenger Rooms for users of the Messenger application. In this article, we will explain how to use Messenger Rooms and many other interesting tips.
To put it clearly, if Zoom and Houseparty had a baby, it would be similar to Messenger Rooms. The fascinating thing about Messenger Rooms is that the membership process is hassle free. No need to download anything or even create an account – well, unless you don’t have a Facebook account.
You might have a little idea of what the messenger rooms might be. Let’s start our journey. It will be long. Prepare yourselves.
1. What are messaging rooms
Messenger Rooms is the group video calling option for Messenger app users. Think of them as virtual spaces for informal conversations. You don’t have to worry if someone is available or not. Just share the link and they can join at their convenience.
The pieces can also be considered as spaces centered on the subject. You can organize or attend occasional interviews with people who share the same interests as you. You can also use these spaces for (virtual) celebrations such as a birthday party or a wedding.
Take the example of any actual invitation-only event, such as reading books, to understand Messenger rooms. You don’t need to call people to tell them to join. An invitation is therefore sufficient. Then it’s their wish whether they want to attend or not. When the event begins, anyone invited can join at any time and can even leave without any restrictions. Imagine the same scenario in a virtual world, and this is the basis of Messenger rooms.
You may be wondering why not make a video call to someone? Then find the answer.
2. What is the difference between message rooms and video calls
Whether it’s a group or individual video call – Facebook Messenger supports both. So what is the need for rooms? Unlike normal calls, where you necessarily have to call other people to speak to them, this is not the case with Messenger rooms.
Think of rooms as walk-in video chats. While a group video call is in progress, you can join it at any time if you have permission. However, it depends on how a part was created (more information below). What’s more interesting is that you don’t even need a Facebook account to join a room. Things like no time limited entry and no bad feelings if you leave the room at random are the essence of Messenger rooms.
However, as with conventional video calls, you can turn off your camera, mute and share the screen in a room as well.
3. How many people can participate in a room
At the time of writing, Messenger Rooms was supporting 50 members.
4. Is there a time limit
No. Fortunately, Facebook has not set any time limits. Thus, meetings in a room can continue for an indefinite period.
5. Who can create a room
Facebook rooms can be created by any Facebook user from multiple locations. You can create a room from Facebook Messenger, Facebook news feed, and groups and events. Rooms can be created from the Facebook website, the Messenger website and the Facebook and Messenger mobile applications.
When you create a room, a virtual space with a unique link is created where people can enter it. The person who creates a part controls the confidentiality of the part. He / she can lock the room, remove a participant, delete the room and has the power to control who can join.
6. Who can join a room and how to join one
As mentioned earlier, anyone with a link to a room (with or without a Facebook account) can join it. People don’t even need Facebook apps. They can join a room via a web browser. Just enter your name and you’re good to go.
Note: Although a Facebook account is not required to join a room, it is necessary to create a room.
Messenger rooms can be beneficial for people not tech savvy, especially the elderly. It eliminates the inconvenience of creating an account or having to download anything. As Mark Zuckerberg said, you just send a link to your grandmother and you can connect with her.
In case you are connected to Facebook, joining a room depends on the privacy settings of a room and where it is created.
For example, if you create a room from the Facebook feed, it will appear in the Rooms section above the feed if visibility is reserved for Facebook friends. You can change the visibility to select only a few friends. Your friends must press the Join button to access the room.
Rooms created from Messenger are private and a link is required to join. You can restrict the link setting to “Only people with Facebook accounts”.
Facebook group rooms are open by default and all members can join them. In addition, rooms can be created by the administrator and members of Facebook groups. However, you can control this setting.
Note: Each time you share a room link with your friends, they can pass it on to more people who can join your room. Similarly, the link to the room can also be shared with people outside a group.
When you join a room, others will only be able to see your name and profile photo (if available). If you signed up with a Facebook account, others can click on your profile and see everything that is available for public viewing.
7. What happens to the rooms if you have blocked someone on Facebook
Since anyone with a link to a room can join it, you may be wondering if someone you’ve blocked on Facebook or Messenger is joining the room? Well, if the person is connected to Facebook or Messenger, they will not be able to join a room where you are also connected. Likewise, if the blocked person has joined a room, you will not be able to join that room. However, if you or the blocked user join without their Facebook accounts, you can land in the same rooms.
Point: Find out what happens when you block someone on Facebook Messenger.
8. What does locking a room mean
You can prevent more people from joining your room by locking it. Only people who are already inside a room will now have access to it. When a room is locked, people who try to join a room through a link will see the message “Unable to join at this time”.
Note: If a room is created in a Facebook group and it is locked, group administrators can still join it.
To lock a room on a mobile, swipe up on the call screen for a room. Activate the toggle next to the Lock Room.
Note: Locking a room does not prevent participants from leaving. They can leave at any time.
9. Can unwanted participants be deleted
Yes. The creator of a room has the power to throw away any participant. When a participant is withdrawn, the room is automatically locked. The creator must unlock the room to allow others to join. It is a great measure taken by Facebook to avoid any nuisance like Zoombombing. This does not apply if a participant leaves as he pleases.
To delete a participant, swipe up on the room screen in the app and tap Manage room. Tap Delete next to the person’s name.
10. What happens when you leave a room
It depends on whether you are a creator or a regular member of the room. If you are a participant in the room, you can simply press or click on the hang up button to leave the room. You can join the room using the same link if the room is unlocked.
If you are the creator of the piece, you have the option of finishing the piece or leaving it. In the first case, the link to the room will become invalid and no one will be able to join it.
Facebook made the rooms interesting by adding separate options for creators to leave a room. There are two aspects. First, if you create a room and no one is available, you don’t have to wait and waste your camera. You can leave the room. Then you will receive a call when someone joins the room. To exit a room, click the cross icon at the top when you create a room. Press Exit.
Another way to leave the room is to press the hang-up button. This will not delete your room. The room still exists and other participants can continue the call. The only thing that changes is that the room would be locked. Thus, no new participant can join. The creator can join the group using his link, and he / she can unlock or end it.
Unique part links remain active until the creator deletes or completes the part. This means that even when all the participants have left the room, the links are active. Anyone with the link can join the room. It does not mean that the person could see you. What happens is that you will receive a call when someone clicks on the old link in the room. Only when you accept it can they see and hear you.
We suggest that if you are a creator, you should always delete the part, as shown below.
11. How to delete a Messenger room
There are two ways to permanently delete a part. If you want to delete an old part, click on the part link. Then press the cross icon at the top and choose End Room.
To delete a live room, swipe to the room call screen. Tap Manage room, then tap End Room. The end of the room will delete all participants and deactivate the link to the room.
Bonus: what is the advantage of having the Messenger app
First, the Messenger app offers one of the ways to create a room. Second, you can add filters and effects to your videos if you have the app. Facebook has promised to add 360 immersive backgrounds to rooms in the future, somewhat similar to virtual Zoom backgrounds. At the time of this writing, you can only add AR and lightning effects to your videos.
To add an effect, click the Effects icon on your video preview screen, then choose a filter.
It’s time to get a room
The phrase “get a room” has taken on a whole new dimension. Now you can actually get a virtual room. Currently, rooms are only available on Facebook and Messenger platforms. The rooms will soon be integrated with other Facebook apps and devices such as Instagram, WhatsApp and Portal. The Messenger rooms have just arrived. Let’s see how they are formed in the future.
Wondering how Messenger rooms compete with Zoom? Find out the answer in our next article where we compare the two.
Last updated on May 22, 2020
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