In April, Facebook Messenger added the capability for group audio calls. On December 19, just in time for the holiday season, Facebook announced that they are also adding group video calls.
It’s a feature that Messenger users have been looking forward to for a while now.
Messenger joins the ranks of other apps that have added video calling recently, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Slack.
You can start a group video call from within an existing group conversation, or create a new conversation.
Simply tap on the video icon in the upper right corner, and everyone in the conversation will receive an invitation to join. Alternatively, you can choose to invite specific people.
Within a group video chat, you’ll be able to view video feed from 6 people simultaneously.
If you have a big group of friends or family though, don’t worry.
Up to 50 people can join in. Once your call includes more than 6 friends, only the “dominant speaker” will be shown on camera.
Everyone else can continue to chime in via voice and text or simply listen.
The ability to add up to 50 people is what currently sets Messenger apart from other video chat apps.
Messenger’s other features will continue to work while a video group chat is ongoing.
That means you’ll be able to continue sending stickers, text messages, money, or anything else you’re used to doing through Messenger. On iOS, users will also be able to apply masks (much like the filters on Snapchat) that will move along with your face.
Group video chat is rolling out on Android and iOS globally, so if you’re a Messenger user, give it a try!