Social media monopoly Facebook is expanding its offerings with a new video chat feature that is likely to rile its competitors as the system looks remarkably similar.
On Friday, April 24, Facebook announced a raft of new features including a video calling platform for up to 50 people called Messenger Rooms.
Since the COVID-19 induced global lockdown, two platforms already offering the same service have seen their usage numbers soar.
Zoom allows up to 100 people to video chat for free for up to 40 minutes, while Houseparty supports up to 8 people.
The freemium video conferencing platform’s stock has been climbing all week but plunged 6% late on Friday after Facebook doused its flames with its rival offering.
Video calls on Messenger Rooms will have no time limit, and they will include features like augmented reality (AR) filters that allow people to add fun and engaging graphics to their faces.
Facebook already has the monopoly on calls, with the announcement adding that between WhatsApp and Messenger, more than 700 million accounts participate in calls every day.
Messenger Rooms will start being deployed to users on April 24, with expansion to more regions over the coming weeks.
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, the blue digital equivalent is consuming ever more of the internet and people’s lives.
Featured image courtesy of Facebook