How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms to video chat with friends and family from any device

Facebook
  • You can use Facebook Messenger Rooms to video chat with up to 50 people at once from the Messenger app for mobile or desktop, or from the Facebook website.
  • You can invite anyone to a Facebook Messenger Rooms video call, whether they use Facebook or not.
  • On any device, you can choose to create a Room for now, or schedule one for later.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends remotely, face-to-face conversations are essential.

A host of new video chatting apps have popped up to fill the need for virtual togetherness. One of the newest is Facebook Messenger Rooms, an extension of Facebook’s popular Messenger platform.

With Messenger Rooms, users can create a “room” and video chat with up to 50 people at a time.

You can even add people who don’t use Messenger — all you have to do is make sure that they have a link, and you’re good to go.

You can start a Messenger room from the mobile or desktop app, or from the desktop website. Here’s how.

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the mobile app

1. Open the Facebook Messenger app on your device. In the menu at the bottom of the screen, tap “Chats.”

2. At the top of the Chats page, tap “Create Room.”

Messenger rooms11Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderTap ‘Create Room’ at the top of the Chats page on the mobile app.

3. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, the next page introduces how you can use Rooms by inviting guests with a link, joining a room without an account, and using the feature from any device. Tap “Try It.”

Messenger rooms12Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderIf you’ve never used Rooms before, you’ll be introduced with this screen — tap ‘Try It.’

4. In the next pop-up screen, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customised name. Click “Who can join automatically?” and choose who to invite by selecting either “Anyone with the link” or “People you invite.” If you want to schedule the meeting for later, click the “Schedule for later” toggle button and select a date and time.

Messenger rooms13Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderSet up your room by naming it, choosing who can join, and selecting your date and time.

5. On the next screen, select your Facebook friends or groups you want to invite. Or, copy the link at the top of the screen and send it to invitees via email, text, etc. Tap “Done” in the upper right corner once you’ve invited all your guests.

Messenger rooms14Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderSelect friends to invite or share the link, and then select ‘Done.’

6. Your invitees can then join the room by opening the link you shared with them. Once others have joined the room, you can remove or add guests, lock the room, or add virtual backgrounds.

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the desktop app

1. Open the Messenger app on your computer. The app can be downloaded for Mac or PC.

2. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, a banner may appear at the top of the left side panel, that says “Messenger Rooms” — click the button to “Try it.” If you have used Messenger Rooms before, the button to “Create a room” will appear at the top of the left side panel, underneath the search bar — click on “Create a room.”

Messenger rooms6Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderClick ‘Create a Room’ in the top left corner of the Messenger desktop app.

3. A pop-up will appear introducing you to Messenger Rooms. Tap “Try It” in the bottom right corner.

Messenger rooms7Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderClick ‘Try It’ in the pop-up.

4. In the next pop-up screen, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customised name. Click “Who can discover and join?” and choose who to invite by selecting either “Friends you invite and people with the link” or “Only friends you invite.” If you want to schedule the meeting for later, click the “Schedule for later” toggle button and select a date and time.

Messenger rooms8Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderSet up your room by giving it a name, choosing guests, and setting a time.

5. Then click “Create Room.”

6. In the next pop-up, you can choose Facebook friends to invite, or copy the shareable link to send via text, email, Messenger, and more.

Messenger rooms9Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderYou can invite additional friends here.

7. Once you’ve selected all your guests, click “Join Room,” then click “Join Room” again in the pop-up.

8. The following screen will take you to the Room, where your camera image will appear in the bottom right corner and your invited guests will begin appearing. In this window, you can choose to share your screen, invite more friends via a shareable link, turn off your video or mic, see call participants, or leave the room.

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the desktop site

1. Go to the Facebook website and log into your account, if necessary.

2. Underneath the “What’s on your mind?” module for creating a new post, you’ll see a “Rooms” module, beside a purple and blue video camera icon. In the top right corner of that “Rooms” module, click the blue link to “Create room.”

Messenger roomsGrace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderClick ‘Create room’ in the Rooms module.

3. In the “Create your room” pop-up, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customised name. Click “Who is invited?” to invite either all your friends or to select specific friends. Finally, click “Start time” to choose if you’d like to start the chat now, or at a later date.

Messenger rooms2Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderClick through ‘Room activity,’ ‘Who is invited?,’ and ‘Start time’ to set up your event.

4. Then, click the blue “Create room” button.

5. On the next pop-up screen, you can invite more people, share the link, edit the room, end the room, and see a list of your invited friends so far.

Messenger rooms3Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderHere you can edit your room, share the link with additional guests, and more.

6. To join the room, click the blue “Join” button.

7. A separate window will pop-up. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, click the button that says “Try it.” If you have used Rooms before, click the button that says “Join Room.”

Messenger rooms4.2Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderIn the pop-up window, click the blue button to either ‘Join Room’ or ‘Try It.’

8. The following screen will take you to the Room, where your camera image will appear in the bottom right corner and your invited guests will begin appearing. In this window, you can choose to share your screen, invite more friends via a shareable link, turn off your video or mic, see call participants, or leave the room.

Messenger rooms5Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business InsiderIn your Room, you can add more guests, mute your mic or video, see all participants, and more.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.