I’m pretty sure when you see Facebook Rooms, or Messenger Rooms, you’re wondering: is this some new-fangled way to virtually book a room for a staycay?
Well, it’s not; not that we need it anymore since we can soon book a room at hotels in Singapore for staycations.
“Rooms” is Facebook’s way of jumping onto the video-conferencing bandwagon, a segment of the market which has seen a huge boom because of Covid-19.
According to The Verge, the Rooms can accommodate up to 50 people in a single video conference at once.
And get this, there’s no time limit on how long you can hold your video conference for, nor do everyone need a Facebook account to get into the room.
Facebook users will be able to share links that permit non-users to join Messenger Rooms via a web browser (on both desktop and mobile).
The feature was first reported on 25 Apr 2020 and it was revealed that the new feature will be “expanded to the rest of the world in the next few weeks”.
And Singapore has received the godly gift of free video conferencing.
Messenger Has Fun Functions
If you join the video conference via the Messenger app, you can also play around with AR effects and new AI-powered effects such as immersive 360 backgrounds and mood lighting, according to HardWareZone.
Let’s just say the effects, while sounding meh when put on paper, makes the conversation pretty fun.
Always wanted to go sky-diving?
Click on the effect, open your mouth
And you’ll be treated to the sight of falling down from high up in the sky.
Having a bad hair day? Noting a cowboy hat couldn’t solve.
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And as long as you don’t make any sudden movement, it stays on your head as though it’s a real hat.
There are immersive 360 backgrounds for those who wish they’re idling away on a sunny, tropical island as well:
Unless You Create The Room Right, You’ll Get A Lot Of Things Wrong
The creator of a messenger room is as all-powerful as Facebook is to publishers like us.
You can choose who you want to see it, who can join, kick people out and even lock it if you want it to be a closed-door session. Not that it has helped everybody.
But that’s if you do it right.
According to The Verge, if you did not mess around with the settings, your room will not only be open to anyone in your friend list on Facebook, they’ll see it at the top of their News Feed.
Imagine wanting to open a room to gossip about a newly-formed couple on campus, only to have them see the room (with the headline: B & D naughty actions) blinking at them when they go into Facebook.
How To Create Your Own Room:
Creating your own room isn’t tough.
Click on create a room and specify what it’s for (or don’t, I didn’t.)
Choose whether you want it public (open to everyone on your friend list) or make it only accessible to people whom you’ve invited
Open it immediately or schedule a time for the room to open
And voila, you’re done.
For desktop users who wants to chat on their computers, you can check out The Verge’s full guide here.
Just take note that like Zoom, Room does not have end-to-end encryption either.
If you’re trying this out for yourself, remember to try out the skydiving option. It’s really addictive.
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