Facebook Launches New Video Chat Feature

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Social media company Facebook recently introduced Messenger Rooms, a new feature that allows as many as 50 people to communicate in a video chat room. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, people are relying on virtual platforms to carry on with their social activities. Sensing the need for millions of people to stay in touch online, Facebook launched its revamped video chat feature last April. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company wanted to develop a group video chat feature that feels less corporate than competitors’ video chat platforms. Messenger Rooms is currently only available on Facebook, but it will eventually expand to WhatsApp and Instagram. Messenger Rooms users will have access to free unlimited video chat even if they do not have Facebook accounts, as long as they have downloaded Facebook’s Messenger app. People can create chat rooms, invite others to join these rooms, and jump from one room to another to interact with different groups. Facebook’s augmented reality filters are also integrated into the new feature, enabling users to apply virtual backgrounds and adjust their lighting. Before Facebook launched Messenger Rooms, video chat app Zoom experienced a surge in its users from just 10 million in December 2019 to over 300 million at present. An increase in its users caused Zoom to encounter privacy issues, with hackers disrupting Zoom meetings. Zuckerberg assured that Messenger Rooms will not encounter the same problems that Zoom did. He added that the platform was designed with secure privacy settings, and users can control who they want to include or exclude from chat rooms.

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