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Facebook Rolls Out Messenger Rooms, Co-Opts Zoom and Houseparty's Features

Facebook Rolls Out Messenger Rooms, Co-Opts Zoom and Houseparty's Features

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)  Messenger “Rooms,” a joinable group video call feature usable by even non-Facebook members, was launched on Friday.

What Happened

Messenger Rooms supports video calls that can be used by up to 50 users with no time limit and will rival Zoom Video Communications Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ZM) that also supports large number of users. 

The company is rolling out Messenger Rooms in some countries this week and will be available in the United States and the rest of the world over the coming weeks.

Why It Matters

According to Facebook, between Messenger and WhatsApp, there are more than 700 million account holders that participate in video and voice calls each day. The number of calls has more than doubled in many countries and even increased tenfold in others, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the social media giant released Facebook Gaming earlier than planned to cater to the needs of gamers under lockdown.

Stan Chudnovsky, Vice President of Facebook Messenger, said in a statement,  “We don’t view or listen to your calls, and the person who creates the room controls who can join, who sees the room, and if the room is locked or unlocked to new guests.” He claims that Rooms was built with “safety top of mind so you can feel comfortable connecting with your friends, family and communities.”

Privacy concerns have dogged rival Zoom, which has just released an updated version with more robust security measures.

Facebook Price Action

Facebook shares traded 0.91% higher at $191.80 in the after-hours session on Friday. The shares had closed the regular session 2.67% higher at $190.07.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Facebook.


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