What are Messenger Rooms? This was the question we posed to our colleague Tony McGovern this week.

Messenger Rooms are group-chat rooms. These are Facebook services but you don’t need a Facebook account to use them! These group chats can be video or audio and are multi-platform.

You can use this service via Messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and online portal devices. Messenger Rooms are available on Android or iOS/Apple platforms. 

Let’s take a room at Messenger Rooms using the App.

Using Messenger Rooms 
  1. Start the Messenger App
  2. Tap the people icon (at bottom right of screen)
  3. Tap Create a Room (at top of screen). Feel free to give the room a snappy name, i.e., “hanging out” or “quiz night”
  4. Choose Friends you want to join your room
  5. Set Time and Date for the room to be active
Room is limited

You can choose an option to allow any of your friends to join the room or just the ones you want. Bear in mind it’s a small room. You are limited to 50 people in the room which can be a crowded room.

Opening the room

Select the time and date for the room to open. Ok, everything is ready for your party. The house is tidy and the parents are out. Music is playing. Send the link to your friends and don’t forget to say “hi!” 

Welcome to the room!

Going Live 

As host, you have control. Once the room is active, the host has safety and privacy controls to remove unwanted participants. The Room can also be locked to stop people joining. If the Room organizer leaves, the Room locks automatically and ending the Room event removes all participants and disables the link.

The party is going on and everyone is in the room. Participants can turn off video and/or mic. As host, you can also decide to focus on the person who is talking or show the participants in the room. 

Screens can be shared if that is something you feel comfortable doing. This hasn’t fully rolled out yet and is available in Rooms with smaller numbers. Unfortunately, it only works on the more updated App versions.

If you’ve forgotten who is who (it happens to me all the time at a party), don’t worry, just hover over that persons video tile and their name will appear above it. 

Feeling over-crowded?

The room may be getting a bit crowded and you are not up to 50 people but still feels too many. As host, you don’t want any more people to join, just lock the room. This means no one else can join. If however, you have that one friend you want to sneak in, you can send them a link (the link appears under the lock room option).  You can also block people which essentially kicks them out of the room.  

There is no time limit on Room usage. The host has be be prepared to hang up at some point. This ends the Room and kicks everyone out of it.  

People with Facebook accounts will be able to see available open rooms which they can walk into. This appears at the top of their News feed.  

Privacy 

Privacy is always a hot debate. Don’t worry, there are no long terms and conditions to ignore here. In Messenger Rooms anyone can report an incident. If a report is made, it will not include any audio or video from the Messenger Room.  

Encryption: Messenger Rooms is not end-to-end encrypted.

Conclusion  

Messenger Rooms is a Facebook feature which branches out to other Apps. This allows group connectivity online. The service has huge potential in its ability to reach out and connect users together ‘face-to-face’.

Throughout lockdown, it is great to use when everyone is stuck at home and socially distancing 2 metres from others. 

Messenger Rooms allows video and audio calling as well as screen sharing. If you are in the mood it has several filters and fun backgrounds to apply to your screen which can lighten the mood.

Rooms can cater for up to 50 people which is great for small gatherings. This could be friends, family, work or clubs and groups with common interests. 

Don’t let me tell you how to use Messenger Rooms, do your own thing!


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