Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s answer to Zoom. The video calling service allows you to chat with up to 50 people at the same time. Unlike some Facebook features, anyone can join a Messenger Room chat, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.
Messenger Rooms borrows a bunch of features from similar video chatting platforms. For instance, you can use virtual backgrounds like in Zoom, apply effects and filters to your face, share your screen with others on the call, lock your chat room like in Houseparty, and more.
This article will guide you on how you can create Messenger Rooms from various Facebook-owned platforms.
How to create Facebook Messenger Rooms on the Messenger app
- Open the Facebook Messenger app.
- You’ll see a pencil icon in the top-right corner. Tap on it.
- Select Create a New Room.
- When you’re creating a Messenger Room, Facebook will give you the option of creating an open link that anyone — even non-Facebook members — can access. Press the Edit option under the link. You can now select whether Anyone with the link or Only people you approve can join.
- Once you’ve selected your audience permissions, tap on the Share button next to the link, and send the created link to other participants via email, WhatsApp, Messenger, Slack, or any other preferred platform.
When the room is live, people with the link will be able to see your name and profile photo, and that you’re in the room. This could also include people who you’re not friends with on Facebook, depending on who you’ve shared the link with.
How to create Messenger Rooms on the Facebook app
You can also start and share Messenger Rooms on the Facebook app through your News Feed, Groups, or Events pages.
The video chat options here are largely the same as Messenger, apart from a few settings. For instance, the link-sharing settings remain the same, and you can choose who gets to join your room in the same way as Messenger. However, unlike in Messenger, you can schedule when to make your room go live through the Start Time setting. This could be very handy if you’re hosting a live concert or webinar using the service.
Here are all the ways you can create Messenger Rooms through the Facebook app.
Create Messenger Room through News Feed
- Open the Facebook app and go to your News Feed.
- You’ll see a Rooms section right below your status area. Tap on the Create Room button.
- When you’re creating a room, you can change the Room name and add a start time. Then tap on Create Room.
- Press the Edit option under the link. You can now select whether Anyone with the link or Only people you approve can join.
- You can now share the link or select who you want to invite from your contacts list.
- Select Join Room to get started.
Create Messenger Room in a Facebook Group
- Open the Facebook app and go to your Groups tab.
- Select the group where you want to create a Messenger Room.
- Tap on the Rooms button.
- Hit Create Room.
- When you’re creating a room, you can change the Room name and add a start time. Then tap on Create Room or Schedule for Later.
- You can now share the link or Notify Members.
- Select Join Room.
See also: The 10 best video chat apps for Android
How to use Messenger Rooms on the desktop
The desktop app is obviously more helpful if there are many participants in a room and you need a larger screen to view them all at once. You can create Messenger Rooms directly from your desktop app. However, you won’t be able to use filters, effects, virtual backgrounds, or call scheduling through the desktop version of Messenger.
How to change privacy settings
Just like Zoom, you have multiple ways of ensuring the privacy and safety of calls made using Facebook Messenger Rooms. The most basic precautionary measure that Messenger Rooms deploys is that the room’s creator needs to be present for a call to begin. Call creators also have the power to remove individual participants at any time. The following are all the privacy and safety measures you can take while using Facebook Messenger Rooms.
- Locking: Call admins can lock or unlock a room once a call begins. If a room is locked, no one else can join, except for admins.
- Removing a participant: You remove individual participants by tapping the Remove button next to their names.
- Reporting: You can report a room name or submit feedback about a room if you believe it violates Facebook’s community standards.
- Blocking: You can block anyone on Facebook or Messenger. When someone you’ve blocked is logged into Facebook or Messenger, they won’t be able to join a room you’re in, and you won’t be able to join theirs.
If you’re hosting a video call and waiting for people to join, you also have a cool option to leave the room till others join in. You can access the option by pressing the X icon on the top left corner of the call screen. Here, you can choose to leave and come back later or end the call.
How to use virtual backgrounds
If you want to use effects, filters, or virtual backgrounds, you can tap the window where you see yourself, and an array of options will appear at the bottom of your screen.