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Facebook is going all-in on video.

It is introducing several new tools designed to expand its existing video capabilities. For instance, it's announcing Messenger Rooms, a new way to join group video calls with up to 50 people. It's like a virtual hangout where friends can just drop in just to say hi. Facebook also announced it is allowing WhatsApp group video calls to now include eight people, up from four.

It's adding video calls to Facebook Dating, as well, and new live-streaming features to both Facebook and Instagram. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced these features in a live stream during a global pandemic that is keeping millions of people inside and away from their loved ones.

He said more than 700 million people are making calls on Messenger and Whatsapp every day. So, Facebook is doubling-down on private communication and trying to help people connect in smaller groups. Here's what you need to know, including about Messenger Rooms.

Facebook is rolling out a video-calling feature called Messenger Rooms. It allows you and up to 49 others to join a group video call, which Facebook calls a "room". You’ll be able to start a room from Messenger, Facebook, Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, or Portal, and you can open the call to all or lock it to stop uninvited people from joining. You can remove participants, too.

While in a room, you can use Facebook’s augmented reality filters and change out your background to a virtual one. Facebook is including 360-degree views of exotic locations for backgrounds, and it's working on beauty filters as well as filters designed to brighten a dark room.

Keep in mind Zoom, a popular alternative to Facebook, also lets you join large group video calls and use virtual backgrounds.






Keep in mind Zoom, a popular alternative to Facebook, also lets you join large group video calls and use virtual backgrounds.
 
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