To limit the spread of the new coronavirus it is useful to respect some rules. Wash your hands often, disinfect surfaces, reduce contact with other people. Using the mask, injecting bleach ... ah, no. Joke. Social distancing measures have cost millions of people their jobs. Others are luckier and can work or go to school from home.
Video calling and instant messaging apps make working or studying from home much more convenient. Zoom is the one that grows the most, despite the many concerns about privacy and security discovered in recent weeks. Unsurprisingly, if a social app becomes popular for whatever reason, Facebook will replicate its features to offer it to its audience. And that's exactly what happens now, with Messenger Rooms.
Messenger Rooms, the latest arrival
To be honest, it's not just Facebook that bolsters its video calling features. Google has renamed Hangouts i Meet and implemented some features that were initially available for Zoom. WhatsApp is also expected to double the number of people supported in the same video call (reaching eight), in response to the huge demand that erupted with the pandemic.
Facebook saw a significant increase in video calling activity in the early days of the pandemic and knows that kind of demand isn't going away anytime soon.
Messenger Rooms, Facebook's alternative to Zoom, will be available within the standalone Messenger app for both Windows and Mac. The blog UpdatesLumia he was one of the first (if not the first) to share screenshots of the feature before Facebook even announced its official launch.
How Messenger Rooms works
As the name suggests, the feature will allow you to create rooms for talking to friends. Once you create a room, you will be able to add up to 50 people regardless of whether or not they have a Facebook account.
Of course, anyone with a Facebook account will be able to use it to access Messenger. Otherwise, you can click a link and access the room through a browser.
The Rooms app will allow you to activate and deactivate video streaming, just like in Zoom or Meet, and share your PC or smartphone screen. Soon Facebook will add Room functionality to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal devices as well.
What about privacy?
Facebook explained the privacy and security features integrated into Messenger Rooms in a separate announcement, as well as the data collected from Rooms' activities. The doubts are obvious.
Regardless of whether you use Rooms through your Facebook account or sign up as a guest, we don't watch or listen to your audio or video calls. When you join a room via Facebook or Messenger, attendees that you are not friends with on Facebook will be able to see and hear everything you say or share in the room, but will not gain greater access to your profile or information elsewhere. of Facebook. [...]
As with other parts of Facebook, we collect data from Rooms regardless of whether you have joined through one of our apps or without logging into an account. The primary purpose of this data is to provide the service and improve the product experience. As with other Messenger features, Rooms audio and video will not be used to inform announcements. We also do not show ads in theaters.
Messenger Rooms, however, is not end-to-end encrypted, but only in transit from your device to Facebook servers.
In short: new tools, always doubts. Welcome Rooms, take your chair and sit there with the others.
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.