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Facebook Messenger Group Video Chat rolling out

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Facebook has announced that its Messenger app is now capable of performing group video calls with up to 50 participants. This expands on the group calling feature which was added back in April.

Facebook Messenger brings its own split-screen group video chat feature where six users can appear in split-screen at the time and “wear” Snapchat-style selfie masks, while 50 total can listen and talk over voice while sending text, stickers, emojis, and GIFs.

Group video chat starts rolling out worldwide on iOS, Android, and web, today, though Android will have to wait for the MSQRD-powered selfie masks that might not ever come to desktop.

It’s free on wi-fi but standard data charges will apply on cellular connections.

According to facebook,245 million people make video calls in Messenger every month,

“With 245 million people making video calls in Messenger every month, now we’re bringing everyone on Messenger the ability to turn group chats into face-to-face conversations no matter where you are – whether you’re down the street or halfway across the world. Chatting face-to-face live as a group is perfect for those spontaneous moments when text just isn’t enough… or when you have a major case of FOMO. It’s the best way to share the news you just got a job (or into college), have your kids wish grandma a happy birthday, tell a funny story to the people you love or just see your friends live while wearing fun 3D masks (iOS only for now – Android coming soon) to an everyday conversation.”

https://www.facebook.com/davidm/videos/10158082484745195/

Instead of simply logging into an ever-present video chat room that notifies friends like on Houseparty, users deliberately select friends or a group text thread to invite to a video call.

Once in, up to 4 Messenger users can share big slices of the screen, while Houseparty accommodates 8. Between 4 and 6 callers, the Messenger screen switches to a gallery format, with whoever is speaking taking up the bulk of the screen with little thumbnails of everyone else at the bottom.

Everyone beyond the first 6 up to 50 callers will only be able to listen, speak, and send content but won’t appear in the video gallery.

 

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