Facebook unveils Messenger Rooms

Tech Industry
The major difference between video calling and video rooms is that with video calling, you're actually calling someone or multiple people and bringing their phone with video with video rooms that you set up a room and invite people to join ahead of time usually by sending out a link. And you know until now across our products, we really focused Video calling. But today, we're gonna discuss a new product that we've been building called messenger rooms. And the basic idea with messenger rooms is that you should be able to create a room for any activity or any event that you want to hold on. You should just be able to send people a link and then they should be able to drop by and hang out with you over video presence. And you should be able to invite anyone you want to your room even if they don't have a Facebook account. So, we wanna make it work in WhatsApp and Instagram and we also wanna make it work for people who don't have accounts with any of our services. It's incredibly easy. You just send a link. And that's it, people can click on the link and join. But one of the things that's possible with Messenger Rooms, that is going to make it a completely different experience from Any of the other video present services out there. So you don't need to schedule time upfront, like you typically need to, for a meeting at work with more typical enterprise video conferencing services. You can create a room You can open it to all of your friends, or all of the people in one of your groups or communities if you want. And then we're going to put a tray at the top of your newsfeed of of all of the active rooms. That your friends or or that people that you want to interact with in your groups are currently participating in and then you can just drop in, or your friends can drop into your room and, and you can you can quickly and casually catch up. So while we've been building this out I have to say I've really enjoyed testing this. Because, you know, a lot of what I've done is I've just left a window open on my screen for a room And I've either had people dropped by to say hi who are people I like and care about but wouldn't have necessarily thought to go call directly myself but now a lot of them are people who I would have used to have seen walking around the office or at social events, so I missed them and it's really happy when they dropped in. The other thing I've seen is that there are times when, My close friends will a bunch of them will just drop into a room at the same time and that'll just be this neat, serendipitous and spontaneous interaction where, maybe I've checked in on them or or been to some kind of virtual events with them during the COVID period, but having a spontaneous interaction with with different subsets of Of your friends that would normally happen otherwise, it's be just a really fun experience so far and I'm looking forward to more of you being able to experience this soon. So it was part of this, we are making it very easy to get the people you want into a room. But we also know it's really important to make sure that annoying people or problematic people don't join, right because I do think the reality is that, you know, everyone has, you know, a random uncle or someone who's your friend, technically your friend but, you know, you're not exactly looking to have them drop in and hang out with you right now. So We've designed this in from the beginning. You can make a private room where people can only join if they have the link directly, and you can text specific people to link through messenger or you can share it over WhatsApp with a group thread if you want to, to engage a group Or you can make a room, when you make it open to all of your friends or people in a group. But even if you do that, even if you make it open to all of your friends, where we're still actually on the backend. Just going to start off by showing it to the subset of people that you actually interact with on our services or who you've shown some interest in potentially interacting with over time. So that way, we make sure that maybe that person who you added as a friend or you followed a few years back, but you don't really know them that well and wouldn't wanna hear that from them. That's not the person who's dropping into your verb and And dialing this and making the experience work is has been a really important part of testing this and getting this to be a good experience. And, of course in addition to all that, we're also we've built all the standard privacy and security features that you would want to have. You can Kicks someone out of the room sometimes, you can lock a room to prevent any kind of new people who were joining. we've really built this service with privacy and security in mind from the beginning and it's important part of our private social platform vision And we've been very careful to try to learn the lessons of how we've seen other people trying to mis-use different other video conference and video presence tools during this period So, now in addition to the spontaneous interactions that you can have, you can also schedule rooms for planned events if you'd like in the rooms creation flow, you're gonna be able to set a time for For the room to start, the default is gonna be now. But if you want, you can send it at some point in the future and then we'll notify the people who you've invited about the room a few minutes before it's set open. So that way all they can all come and you can all hang out together. We've also integrated rooms with Facebook events. All right, almost no one is planning physical events Right now, we've basically pivoted the Facebook events team to work on helping you plan online events instead. And the final note that I wanna say about messenger rooms is that this is gonna be launching across all of our apps as well as across portal. The rooms themselves will be natively hosted, In messenger. So if you have the messenger app, that'll be the best experience. Be able to create and invite people to rooms across all of our apps and WhatsApp and Instagram and Facebook. And if someone doesn't have messenger, then if they get a link, they're just gonna be able to tap on that and join from a browser. Or from mobile web and that'll be a great experience to. So we actually have have already begun rolling this out and testing this and in a couple places so far, and I'm looking forward to rolling it out more over the coming weeks and getting more of your hands. So that is His Messenger rooms.

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