Facebook has just announced that its messaging app, ‘Messenger’ can now perform video chats with as many as 50 participants at the same time.
This follows an update released in April when Messenger first added group or conference calling. Before that, only two-way calls worked.
Where there are multiple participants in a video call, Messenger will now show each of them in a grid-like form. However, this changes when the number is more than six, and the app shows the feed from the dominant speaker in the conversation.
This presents more prospects than its other competitors in the video chatting space; Microsoft’s Skype and Google Hangouts only support 10 participants at a time. Perhaps more importantly, it sets Facebook Messenger apart from what Whatsapp offers; one offers solutions for groups, businesses and networks, the other is a tool largely directed at social interaction for individuals.
Facebook’s real competition among social media users though is Snapchat who rolled out their own video calling feature earlier this year. Still, it’s obvious that Facebook’s product offers more features.
The race continues in the selfie mask feature that is only available on Messenger for iOS devices. It is obviously based on Snapchat’s filters, but Facebook goes one better by allowing users put whatever animation they want over their faces in the course of the live chat. Facebook says the feature should arrive on Android soon.
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While using the video or audio chatting features, you can still use the other features on Messenger; so users can still chat in text, use smileys or other animations while making video or audio calls.
The new features are available as part of the newest update to the Facebook Messenger which is available on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.