Facebook presents Rooms, an application to compete with Zoom
The social network takes advantage of the confinement to launch a new bet for video. It proposes some “rooms” that the user can virtually open in his Facebook profile so that whoever wants to can enter
Facebook announced the launch of Messenger Rooms, some video “rooms” that can be activated, for the moment, from Facebook or Messenger. The social network intends to add this function also to WhatsApp and direct messages from Instagram. The company seems to pretend that these rooms are places of passage, bar tables that one opens virtually on their Facebook profile for anyone to enter.
The idea of Facebook seems to be that you open your window to see who comes from your account on the network. It is a function somewhat different from video calls, where there is a mutual will or acceptance. Each room can accommodate up to 50 people with no time limit. Only users who have permission to access will see them “open”. They can also be expelled and the user can close when they already have someone they want inside. It is easy to imagine some abuses of the new option as well.
Rooms does not need any specific app , it can be accessed from the browser. Users can enter without having a Facebook account, but if they have Messenger they can add augmented reality functions, such as backgrounds or new lights. This more informal environment makes Rooms a competitor to Houseparty, another popular app in recent weeks. Along with Zoom, Skype or Hangouts, they have been at the top of the app download rankings since the beginning of confinement in the most affected countries.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company aims to take advantage of the extraordinary growth of video calls from confinement . Messenger and WhatsApp doubled the use of video calls since the beginning of the confinement, although the social network does not reveal the initial values of the use of video on these platforms. The opportunity for a social network like Facebook to expand its share in these times is clear.