Take your next book club, panel interview, or fitness class live with Messenger Rooms. Facebook’s free alternative to Zoom now lets users turn any room into a live broadcast.
Launched in May, Messenger Rooms makes it easy to hold large meetings of up to 50 people with no interruptions. Simply open a room, share the link (Facebook account not required), and get started. The idea is to open group events to the public—be it a discussion, performance, meeting, or party. “By bringing Messenger Rooms and Facebook Live together, we’re unlocking new ways for people to connect and create content even while they’re apart,” product managers Jasmine Stoy and Connor Hayes wrote in a blog announcement.
Room creators have complete control over live broadcasts, deciding where on Facebook to share the room, who can view it, and who is invited; participants must opt in to join, and may leave at any time. The host, meanwhile, has the power to add and remove folks, as well as lock or unlock a room during the broadcast.
“People are turning to Facebook Live more than ever to stay connected,” the blog said. “From artists raising money for efforts they care about and local zoos hosting daily safari adventures, to congregations coming together for worship and couples exchanging vows, people are finding creative ways to connect through Facebook Live.”
The web-only feature is rolling out now in some countries, and will soon expand to all locations where Messenger Rooms is available, as well as the Facebook and Messenger mobile and desktop apps. Messenger Rooms does not currently offer end-to-end encryption, and Facebook may collect and review audio and video from the broadcast, regardless of whether you’re a registered user.