Facebook Announces Messenger Rooms and New Features for Live Videos

 

We are several months into dealing with coronavirus, and I’m willing to bet you have participated in at least one video call or meeting.

Many of us have participated in Zoom or WebEx meetings, Skype calls, and, if you signed up for the Survive and Thrive Summit, you used Microsoft Teams.

You have probably also spent more time watching videos on Facebook during the pandemic. According to an article on CNET, from February to March, the number of Facebook Live viewers in the US increased by about 50%. I know I’ve been using it more, and many business owners are finding unique ways to use live video to keep their businesses afloat. For a great example, check out my interview with Hannah Perry, owner of an art studio in Connecticut. She is using live video 100% of the time now to get business.  

To support this increase in interest and use, Facebook is rolling out new features to Facebook Live:

  • “Live With,” which lets you add another person (guest speaker, friend, expert) into your Facebook Live video, wherever they are in the world. 
  • Facebook Events can now be online-only and can include Facebook Live so you can broadcast to your guests. 
  • Pages will be able to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook.  
  • A donate button can be added to Live videos if they benefit a charity.

Messenger Rooms

Facebook also announced that they have added a new free group video chat feature -- Messenger Rooms. Starting this week, the company is rolling it out to several countries. You can invite up to 50 people to join a meeting, training, or any other experience, even if they don’t have a Facebook account or the Messenger app. Participants can join a room from a phone or computer.

Privacy and security are two important areas that Facebook focused on when deciding to roll out Messenger Rooms. This may be in response to the many security breaches from the Zoom app. In Messenger Rooms, you choose who can see and join the room. You can take people off the call and lock the room if you don’t want anyone else to come in.   

When it’s available, here’s how to create a Facebook Messenger Room:

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Touch the People tab at the bottom right of the screen. 
  3. Touch Create a Room and select the people you want to join. 

Note: To add people who don't have a Facebook account, just share the link with them.  

You can get more information about these features, and more, here

 

 

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