Facebook expands video chat feature
The social media company on Friday launched Messenger Rooms, as more people worldwide shift to online communication due to extensive lockdowns put in place in light of the coronavirus disease pandemic.
AFP, file
Facebook expands video chat feature
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - April 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Social media company Facebook is directly taking on videoconference applications such as Zoom with an expanded video chat feature that allows unlimited video calls with up to 50 people.

The social media company on Friday launched Messenger Rooms, as more people worldwide shift to online communication due to extensive lockdowns put in place in light of the coronavirus disease pandemic.

“Lately Facebook has felt the demand for real-time video. Between WhatsApp and Messenger, more than 700 million accounts participate in calls every day,” the company said in a statement.

“In many countries, video calling on Messenger and WhatsApp more than doubled, and views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos increased significantly in March,” it added.

Messenger Rooms expands the existing video chat feature in the popular messaging application, allowing up to 50 people to connect via video without a time limit.

The feature allows participants to join the video chat even if they do not have a Facebook account or the Messenger application.

Facebook also committed to privacy and security of the feature, an apparent response to concerns that hounded other platforms such as Zoom.

“We also worked with our security team to make Rooms links difficult for hackers to guess. Our room links have a string of random characters and digits at the end, with numbers and letters in different cases,” said the company.

“This makes it challenging for hackers to guess the exact combination of characters, and a new link is generated every time you create a room,” it added.

Last week, Zoom announced a major security upgrade in response to concerns over security of communications over the platform.

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