Facebook first announced its plans to integrate and unify all its social and messaging platforms last year. Last week, the company unveiled its group video calling feature Messenger Rooms for Facebook Messenger, similar to Zoom. Now, the first signs of the Messenger Rooms feature have started to appear in WhatsApp.
Facebook announced its plans to release the Messenger Rooms feature across all its platforms: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The social media giant posted a short video on Twitter to show how Messenger Rooms how would work on Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Portal, and WhatsApp. Now, the folks over at WABetaInfo have found the first signs of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp’s latest beta release.
WhatsApp Beta for Android with version number 2.20.139 shows that the instant messaging platform has been working on integrating the Messenger Rooks feature inside WhatsApp. Although the feature is being internally tested, it could soon roll out for both Android and iOS platforms. As you can see in the images below, users would be able to see the Rooms option when they click the group chat’s share sheet. When users select the Rooms feature, an introduction of the feature is displayed.
Users can continue in Facebook Messenger to create a Messenger Room. The same feature is also displayed in the Calls tab inside WhatsApp and when a user tries to call other contacts. When a Messenger Rooms is created for a group video call, WhatsApp would ask the user to open Facebook Messenger to continue the video call. Once WhatsApp’s development team is done testing the feature internally, it would be rolled out to beta testers and then to all the users gradually.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, people have been increasingly getting reliant on video calling, video conferencing, and collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom. Despite featuring group video calling, Facebook’s various platforms—Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp—didn’t experience as many new users as the company would’ve liked. Hence, the company increased the number of maximum people allowed inside a video conference to 50, similar to Zoom, via the Messenger Rooms feature.
Although Facebook said that anyone could join Messenger Rooms video conference, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. However, it looks like initiating a video conference through Messenger Rooms inside WhatsApp would push users to Facebook Messenger to complete the video call.
If the new feature is rolled out in a similar condition, the company’s integration plan looks broken. Ideally, users wouldn’t have to switch to other apps to complete any task. However, since the feature is still in the development and internal testing phase, we still think that Facebook has time to improve the feature before rolling it out in the coming weeks.[Via: WABetaInfo, Source: Twitter]