Facebook products have always been about people being connected. Over the years, they’ve been working on how to make people feel connected with each other even though they’re not in the same place. Today, video is helping most of us cross the gap. Facebook will soon switch to more interactive technologies like AR and VR.
The need for real-time video has recently been felt by Facebook. Between WhatsApp and Messenger, more than 700 million accounts take part in calls every day. In several countries, videos calling Messenger and WhatsApp more than doubled, and views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos increased dramatically in March. Yet there’s plenty to do to make you feel genuine in real-time.
Spend time with each other should be spontaneous, not strained. So to help people feel like they’re together, even though they’re — or have to be — physically apart, Facebook is launching apps across their products that make video chat and live streaming simpler and more convenient.
Introducing Messenger Rooms
Messenger Rooms make it easy for you to spend quality time with friends, loved ones and people who share your interests. Set up a room from Messenger or Twitter, and invite others to join your video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Rooms will soon accommodate up to 50 people without a time limit, this makes this new app a perfect alternative for Zoom.
You can now host events, organize a book club, or just hang out with your friends while lying on the couch. You don’t have to border yourself calling anyone, hoping it’s a good time or checks everyone’s calendar first. You can start by sharing rooms on Facebook via News Feed, Groups and Activities, and that makes it easy for people to even drop by. Facebook will soon add ways to build rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal, too.
When your friends or families create rooms that are available to you, you will see them on Facebook so that you can find things to do and people to hang out with. Once you’re invited to a room, you can enter on your phone or your computer — you don’t have to download anything to get started. When you have the Messenger app installed on your phone, you can play with AR (Artificial Reality) effects like bunny ears and new AI (Artificial Intelligence) features like 360 immersive backgrounds and mood lighting.
When you create a room, you choose who’s going to see it and enter it. If you don’t want someone else to come, you can remove people from the call and lock the room. Read all about its controls and how to design rooms with privacy and protection in mind.
Messenger Rooms is rolled out in several countries this week and will be spreading to the rest of the world in the coming weeks.
Expand WhatsApp Group Calls
WhatsApp calls are another way to keep in touch. You will soon be able to have a group voice and video call with up to eight people on WhatsApp. Unlike before, these calls are encrypted with end-to-end encryption so that no one else can access or listen to your private discussion, not even WhatsApp.
New Live Streaming Features on Facebook, Instagram and Portal
People are turning to Facebook Live and Instagram Live for fitness courses, cooking tutorials, worship services and more, and we’re adding features to make them even more useful.
· They bring back Live With so that people can add another person to their live stream, no matter where they are in the world. Bring a guest speaker, interview an expert, or chat to a friend.
· You will be able to label Facebook Events as online only and, in the coming weeks, add Facebook Live so that you can broadcast to your guests. To support creators and small businesses, we aim to incorporate the ability of Pages to charge access to live video events on Facebook – from online performances to workshops to professional conferences.
· To help you raise funds for causes, you can now attach a donation button to live videos anywhere non-profit fundraisers are available.
· They make it easy for you to access live video so that you can watch or listen anywhere. Whether you have little data or a hotspot connection, you can now only listen to the audio. If you don’t have a Facebook account, most public live videos are now available on the web, and some pages will share a toll-free number that lets you listen to the audio from any phone.
· You can stream games from your phone to Facebook using the new Facebook Gaming app available on Google Play. The app also lets you play games right away, watch your favourite streamers, and explore new gaming communities. Tournaments are another modern game streaming feature that lets you build, play and watch the competition in one location. Tournaments are available on Facebook today and will soon be available on the Facebook Gaming app.
· To help you support some of your favourite creators, we are extending Stars to more Pages and more countries. If you buy the Stars, you can give them to the developers when they’re downloading, and they’re going to gain 1 cent for every Star.
· You can now watch and comment on live videos from your browser right now. Follow the yoga class on a larger computer, or listen to a live performance while you work.
· Shortly after you go online, you’ll be able to save your videos to IGTV, so they’re longer than the 24-hour cap in Stories and easier for anyone to find.
Eventually, you’ll be able to go live from Portal to Facebook Pages and Groups. The Facebook Live Portal app already lets you upload to your profile, but you’ll be able to share with your friends later as well. If you’re sharing a make-up or baking tutorial, or hosting a more intimate conversation, Portal’s AI-powered Smart Camera can be your personal filmmaker, keeping you perfectly lit, so you can stay present at the moment.
Messenger Kids Global Expansion and New Features
Messenger Kids will help children keep in contact with friends and family in a friendly, parentally supervised environment. We began to extend the free video call and messaging app to more than 70 countries and add new ways to help parents connect their children to their peers.
Set Up a Virtual Date in Facebook Dating
To help people find meaningful relationships even when they can’t meet in person, Facebook is adding an option on Facebook Dating to invite people to a virtual date. If they approve it, you will start a video chat in Messenger to get to know each other. It is going to roll out in the coming months.