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December 19, 2016

Facebook Messenger Debuts Group Video Calls

Facebook today announced group video chat for up to 50 participants are now available via its iOS and Android Messenger apps as well as Messenger for dektop.

Facebook Messenger Group Video Chat.

Facebook Messenger Group Video Chat.

When six participants or fewer use the new functionality, the app will stream everyone’s camera feed to offer up a grid-like view on the participants’ devices. The tool, which is free when used via Wi-Fi, still works well when there are more than six people taking part, you just can’t see everyone at once. Instead, person who is speaking is the one shown to all participants.

“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,” Messenger product manager Stephanie Taine said. Chatting face-to-face live as a group is perfect for those spontaneous moments when text just isn’t enough.”

To start using group video calls, first, make sure you are using the latest version of Messenger. Next, simply join an existing group conversation or create a new one. Tap on the video icon on the upper right of the screen to enter the video chat. All members of the group will be notified. To give someone a little push to join, you can directly ring them or even the entire group.

To add a little fun to a group chat, you can don a fun 3D masks. Thus far, the masks are only available to iOS users, although they are coming soon to Android.

Check out the new group chat feature in action in the video below:


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.