Facebook Just Launched 'Messenger Rooms' So You Can Video Chat With All Your Friends

Courtesy of Facebook

Video calling apps have become our lifeblood for maintaining some semblance of a normal social life -- it's where we drink, eat, gossip, even host game nights. And while Facebook's own messenger app has previously allowed users to video chat, the platform just launched a whole new way to do it. 

The rollout features a gallery view much like Zoom and drop-in style chat rooms à la Houseparty. Hitting mobile and desktops across English speaking countries today, the new Messenger Rooms will automatically notify close friends when you join a room, with additional capabilities to invite specific users and share your room link. 

"If your friends or communities create rooms that are open to you, you’ll see them on Facebook so you can find things to do and people to hang out with, " the company said in a statement Friday. "When you’re invited to a room, you can join from your phone or computer -- no need to download anything to get started. If you have the Messenger app, you can play with AR effects like bunny ears, and new AI-powered features like immersive 360 backgrounds and mood lighting." 

Though each chat room currently only allows 8 people per call, Tech Crunch reports the feature will expand in the coming weeks to allow for a max of 50 users. 

Courtesy of Facebook

Whoever creates the room can opt who can see and join, but you can always remove an uninvited guest and lock the call so no one else can jump in either. 

"Host celebrations, gather a book club or just hang out on the couch with friends. You don’t need to call someone and hope it’s a good time or check everyone’s calendar first," the statement continues. "You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by. Soon we’ll add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal, too." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.