Facebook revamps video chat features across its app suite to rival Zoom

Messenger users can create Rooms and control them in several ways, including choosing who is allowed to join, limiting the number of participants and removing them. Users can create Rooms in Messenger or Facebook, though the social network soon will add the feature to Instagram Direct, WhatsApp and Portal smart displays.

Messenger also is rolling out artificial intelligence (AI) effects including 360-degree backgrounds that show chat participants in virtual landscapes.

Why it’s important:

Facebook's new video chat features come as people grow more reliant on social networks to stay connected while stuck at home. The company said more than 700 million accounts participate in video calls in WhatsApp and Messenger each day. The number of calls on those apps more than doubled in many countries since the pandemic began, while the number of group video calls has jumped more than 10 times in some areas, per its blog post.