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Facebook Launches Messenger Rooms for Community-driven Group Calls

Updated on April 24, 2020
6 minute read

Facebook is launching a brand new way to connect with your community -- Messenger Rooms! Here's everything to know about Facebook's new group call feature.

Published April 24, 2020

Facebook is launching a brand new way to connect with your community — Messenger Rooms!

Like a virtual conference call, you can set up and invite anyone to join a call, no need to pre-plan or set a time in the calendar — this new addition is all about spontaneity.

Here’s everything we know about Facebook’s newest feature, Messenger Rooms:

What is Facebook’s Messenger Rooms?

Think of it as a conference call without the formality.

Announcing the new feature during his live address, Mark Zuckerberg explained that he wanted to create a tool to bring more people together during this pandemic.

The solution: Messenger Rooms.

Modeled after tools like Zoom and Houseparty, Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s take on video conferencing: users can conference with up to 50 people at once and there’s no time limit on calls.

When you set up a new Messenger Room call, a notification will pop up on your friends’ and followers’ home page, so they can immediately jump in and join the call.

There’s even the option to invite your Instagram followers and contacts on WhatsApp — a sure-fire way to bring your community together!

But the best news is that anyone can join a Messenger Room — you don’t need a Facebook or Instagram profile to use the tool. Think how wide you can cast your community net!

How to Set Up a Facebook Messenger Room on Desktop:

Facebook is rolling out Messenger Rooms globally so if you want to host a Room, start by updating your Facebook and Messenger apps on mobile.

We’ll chat through how to set up a Messenger Room on both, starting with desktop.

Step #1: Log into Facebook

First up, log into your Facebook account on your computer — Messenger Rooms will already be up and running if it’s been rolled out to your region!

Step #2: Go to Your News Feed

Go to your News Feed channel and you’ll see a new section called “Rooms”.

Here you can decide to either click “Create” in that bar or click on the “Create Room” button under the “Create Post” box.

Once you tap “Create” or create a post to start a Messenger Room, a window will pop up to give you options for your Room settings.

Step #3: Define Your Messenger Rooms Settings

Here you can decide what kind of Room you want to host, who’s invited, and when the Room will start.

Room activity:

Facebook has teed up a few options to define your Room activity — like “Happy hour” and “Hanging out,” but you can also tap the + button to set a custom Messenger Room activity.

Who is invited?

Next, you can define who is invited to your Room. You can choose from either all of your Facebook friends, or a select specific friends from your list.

You’ll also have the option to share a link to the Messenger Room so anyone (even people without a Facebook account!) can join your Room.

Start time

Finally, before you can start your Messenger Room, you’ll need to set a start time.

There’s also a handy “reset to now” button which automatically sets your start time to the present time — so there’s nothing holding you back from a spontaneous group hangout!

Step #4: Create Room & Invite People to Join

Once all your settings are complete, you’ll be able to start your Room.

Simply click the “Join” at the bottom to enter, and use the unique URL to share your Room with friends so they can join.

Remember: Only 50 people can join a Room at once.

Now you’re all set up with your Messenger Room!

During his Live address, Zuckerberg promised Messenger Rooms would be rolled out worldwide soon, so keep an eye on your Facebook profile on desktop to see if you have access to it.

He explained that Messenger Rooms can also be connected to your Facebook Events, making a group hangout just one click away for your event attendees.

And a real bonus announcement: Facebook Events will soon be set up with the function to charge an attendance fee!

So if you’re a small business or creator that relies on in-person services, these two new features combined could help you create a revenue stream during the pandemic.

How to Set Up a Facebook Messenger Room on Messenger App:

For a quick and easy way to set up a Messenger Room, just follow these steps on your Messenger app:

  • Update to the latest version of the Messenger app and open it.

  • Tap “People” near the bottom right corner of the screen.

  • Tap “Create a Room” at the top of the screen.

  • If you’re creating a Room for the first time, you’ll see a “Try it” button that outlines the feature. If you rather skip it, just tap “Done” to move past the intro info.

  • Just like on desktop, the next screen will allow you to adjust who gets to join the call. Tap “Who Can Join” (on an iOS) or “Edit” (on Android) to get two sharing options: anyone who has the link or only Facebook users with the link.

Anyone with the link or invitation can join the call.

Once you’re finished on your call, you can leave the Messenger Room — there’s the option to end the Room for all attendees or to leave it open so your guests can continue without you.

Set up Facebook Messenger Rooms on Instagram

That’s right! You can also set up and join a Facebook Messenger Room for Instagram!

That’s the cool thing about Rooms — anyone can join from Facebook’s family of apps (WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram) or anyone with the link can join. No log in necessary!

Rooms on Instagram and invite anyone to join ????

How to Quickly Set Up a Messenger Room from Instagram:

  • Open your Instagram Direct Messages tab and tap the video call icon in the top right corner.

  • Select “Create a Room” and invite your Instagram contacts or copy a direct link to your Room.

And that’s it — a plug and play way to connect with your Instagram followers (and everyone else).

Want to learn more about Messenger Rooms on Instagram? We have a whole blog post dedicated to it — check it out here!

We’ll be bringing you more info on Messenger Rooms in the coming weeks! In the meantime, stay up-to-date with all Facebook’s new products and features with Later’s newsletter:

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