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Facebook rolls out Messenger Rooms, making it possible for up to 50 people to participate in a video call at the same time.

The functionality will initially be available in the United States, Mexico and Canada, but in the next few days, the rest of the world will also be able to set up a conversation with more people at the same time. Facebook’s new service was announced in April by CEO Mark Zuckerberg after apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams noticed a vast increase in user numbers. The video call feature of both applications made the apps perfect for holding conferences and calling family and friends.

Facebook believes Messenger Rooms creates a better environment for social calls, as ‘most other video call services are focused on work and not social interaction’. Partly for this reason, it has been made possible to set up a room that friends and family can access whenever they want (with a maximum of 50 people at a time). It is also possible to set up a room for a specific group (on Facebook) or an event.

For the time being, it is only possible to set up such rooms in Facebook Messenger and on Facebook itself. Shortly, the function should be extended to Instagram and WhatsApp. The big question is, if this will even compete with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, because they are used by business users and Facebook Messenger is more a consumer product.