Recently, Facebook unveiled Messenger Rooms, its take on Zoom-like video chat. It supports up to 50 callers, and you join through Messenger or a shared link on Facebook. Now, Facebook is rolling out the ability to live broadcast your Messenger Room, so anyone can see the call without joining.
As the pandemic continues, we’ve begun to use video conferencing in new and interesting ways. You’ll find table reads of episodes of Community or casts from movies like Lord of the Rings reuniting over video calls and broadcast for everyone to see.
Facebook built its new Messenger Room feature for those kinds of scenarios. Perhaps you have a book club meeting and belong to a book lovers group that would find interesting. Or you want to reenact a favorite scene for all your friends. All you need to do is start a room and then broadcast it to your profile, page, or group and invite people to watch. Anyone can then watch the Room chat without joining the room and directly participating.
Facebook did put in a few sensible restrictions. Only the Messenger Room creator can decide to broadcast. And before the broadcast begins, everyone in the Room has to agree to the live stream, or leave if they don’t want to participate.
The Room creator can add or remove participants at any time, and participants can choose to leave at any time as well. That should prevent anyone from getting stuck in a live stream. Facebook says the feature is rolling out now in “some countries” and plans to roll out to all countries that support Messenger Rooms eventually.