Facebook revealed that it is launching a tool called Messenger Rooms with which users will be able to make video calls with up to 50 people. This is the latest move by the social network ‘due to the popularity, in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, of other applications such as its Zoom or Houseparty with similar group video contact capabilities.
The news was given this Friday by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg through Facebook Live.
According to our sister station CNBC, the tool will be free will allow Facebook and Messenger users to create group video calls of up to 50 people at a time, increasing the current limit of the Messenger app from 8 people.
According to CNBC, the 50-person limit for Messenger Rooms will not be available immediately. Facebook users will see a lower limit at launch, but it will soon rise to 50 people, a company spokesperson told CNBC. The limit will vary for users at launch, the spokesperson said.
By comparison, Zoom allows up to 100 people to video chat for free for up to 40 minutes. Houseparty supports up to eight people.
Video calls in Messenger Rooms have no time limit and will include features like augmented reality filters that allow people to add masks to their faces. Video call hosts will also be able to block calls and delete users. Facebook and Messenger users can create Messenger rooms, and they can invite anyone to join, including people who don’t have a Facebook account.
Messenger Rooms will begin rolling out to users on Friday, and will expand to more regions in the coming weeks. “You can start and share video calls on Facebook through your wall, Groups and Events, so it is easy for people to visit it. We will soon add ways to create video call rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal too”, explained the social network.
WhatsApp also expands capacity
Facebook also announced that it is doubling the limit of people in WhatsApp video calls from four to eight people.
In addition, the company is introducing a video calling feature on Facebook Dating so that users of that service can have virtual dating.
Zoom improves your security
The video conferencing platform Zoom, which has achieved a sudden popularity success with the COVID-19 pandemic, announced this week an update to its software, where, it says, it has improved the encryption system to respond to criticism received for lack of security.
The San Jose, California-based firm explained in a statement that Zoom version 5.0 adds support for encryption with 256-bit AES encryption GCM, providing “increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. ”
The update available this week will also allow the account administrator to choose which regions of the data center their meetings and webinars use for real-time traffic at the account, group, or user level.
On the other hand, the company has grouped all the options related to security in the same icon, which is accessed through the menu bar of the digital meeting, the “waiting room” option has been activated by default and allows videoconference hosts report a user whose participation has not been allowed.
“I am proud to achieve this step in our 90 day plan, but this is only the beginning. We will earn the trust of our customers and bring them happiness with our firm goal of providing the safest platform, ”said Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan.
Zoom’s success and sudden growth as a result of the increase in teleworking and digital encounters following the confinement orders for the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by many complaints about failures in communication security and little respect for the privacy of users.
One of the most common problems that its users are encountering is that Internet users who have not been invited appear by surprise in teleconferences, a phenomenon baptized as “zoombombing” and which has caused educational institutions, governments and companies to stop using the platform. and, in the case of Google, their employees have even been banned.