Facebook introduces Group Chat Video in Messenger

Facebook announced today that it is launching Group Chat Video for its Messenger app.

“With 245 million people making video calls in Messenger every month, now we’re bringing everyone on Messenger the ability to turn group chats into face-to-face conversations no matter where you are – whether you’re down the street or halfway across the world.”, Facebook wrote in the statement this morning.

The new feature can support up to 50 participants in the same conversation.  For a party of up to 6 persons, each camera feed will be shown in a grid-like view.  When the group has more than 6 people, then only the dominant speaker will be displayed on-screen.

In contrast, competitor app Google Hangouts limits the group calls to 25 persons while displaying the top 10 video feeds at all time.  On Microsoft Skype program, the limit is set to 10 individuals on the same group video call.

Also included in the update are new tools that were clearly inspired by Snapchat and Prisma.  Users can now modify their live feed by applying masks on their face or apply decorations in their environment.

The social media giant never denied that Snapchat was a big inspiration.  Several similar features were added this year to Instagram which is now owned by Facebook.  For example, it is now possible to send disappearing pictures to your followers as well as create stories just like in Snapchat.

Facebook Messenger gets a revamped interface

After updating to the latest version of the app, users will notice a new empty circle button at the bottom center of the home screen.  This will activate the front camera of the phone.  From there, users can take a selfie picture, start recording a video or go to the editing phase.  In the editing mode, Facebook included the possibility to add text, emojis, drawings, stickers, frames and filters.

As always, the new update will roll out progressively this week for iOS and Android devices.

Facebook seems to be more aggressive in their growth in the last few months.  They also made the headlines last week, when they announced a new way to fight misinformation on people’s newsfeed.