Zoom is one of the most trending video-calling services ever since this pandemic, with active users over 300 million.
Lately, virtual meetings have been the order of the day for firms, institutes and other business. This is as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted physical communications and gatherings, thereby, leaving people with option of video-calling services which has daily been on the rise with options like Zoom.
Another popular option is the Houseparty, owned by Fortnite-maker Epic Games which has been downloaded over two million times since March; and other apps, such as Microsoft Teams, offer premium features for free. Google Classroom has been active for some high school students in Nigeria.
With the current trend and the demands for teleconferencing, Facebook is introducing a new product feature in its video chat game, that can allow up to 50 people to take part in a video chat, even without a Facebook account.
Facebook is doing it again! First, it was the launching of stories on Instagram (a clone of Snapchat). Now it is taking on the popular video sharing platform known as Zoom (ZM).
Facebook has a history of expanding its features to emulate major competitors.
The previous messenger video calls by Facebook, were limited to eight people but with this new video feature – Messenger Rooms, users can now host a meeting with up 50 people at once with no time limit on the messenger app. This feature will also be added to WhatsApp (which is still part of tge company’s applications) so that the maximum number of people who can join a teleconference call will increase from four to eight.
This new feature will be available on beta versions of WhatsApp for both Android and iOS. The User must have WhatsApp version 2.20.133 on Android and version 18.104.22.168 on iOS to access this feature that allows up to eighth participants on a video chat. Moreso, the other participants that you are looking to video and voice call, must also have the same beta version of WhatsApp running on their devices.
It is pertinent to note that, you may not have privacy in these Messenger Rooms but the WhatsApp video and voice calls on the other hand, will be end-to-end encrypted so no one else can view or listen in on private conversations. Basically, end-to-end encryption is one of the main Unique Selling Points (USP) of the new video feature. However, Facebook seems to be working on having same security measure for Messenger and Instagram Direct, in the future.
Like house party, people will be able to join and leave the group video chats while the Messenger Room is open (more like, they can come and go as often as they can).
Here is another catch: Users can create a private Messenger Room, block unwanted participants, and send invitations to people who are not on Facebook.
Facebook is also working on preventing unpleasant situations like the “Zoombombing problem,” which was as a result of uninvited guests dropping into video calls to abuse participants or share pornography.
It is said that the company is working with cryptographers to make the links for the Messenger Rooms difficult for hackers to guess. Nevertheless, publicly discoverable rooms will be listed at the top of the Facebook news feed and chats will not be end-to-end encrypted.
Other features of the new video feature include:
– “Live With”, where you can host Facebook Live streams with another person, to bring guests or performers on to your show.
-The ability to watch Instagram live videos on desktop computers.
– The ability to use augmented reality filters to change your background in real-time.
(By Miss Bimbo).
Image Credit: Cnet