Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) announced its push into live video conferencing through the expansion of the Facebook Live and Messenger Rooms features to enable live broadcasts with up to 50 people.

Facebook rivaling Google and Zoom with a video call feature

This will allow the social media giant to other video conferencing services from the likes of Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:ZM) as remote working continues to grow. The new service will be called Messenger Rooms and will be similar to Zoom’s video conferencing service that allows users to engage several people at ago. Users will be able to directly launch the joinable group video conferences from Messenger or Facebook, with room creators able to invite users to join the video, even those not on Facebook.

Interestingly users can only be invited to join a room by the creator and have to opt to be part of the call. Most importantly, the creator can lock the room to avoid “Zoom-bombing.” Those outside the room can see what is going on in the room, when the room is shared. The company indicates that it is the creator who will decide where to share the room on Facebook, who is invited, and who can see the broadcast.

Video conferencing feature piloting in select countries

Facebook indicated that the feature will launch on some select countries before expanding to other areas where Messenger Rooms are currently available. In a blog post announcing the feature, the company indicated that the Messenger Rooms will offer users ways of interacting with audiences regardless of whatever you want to engage in.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, indicated that this will be one way for the company to keep people connected. He stated that video presence is not only a way of calling someone, but it is also becoming vital in developing a social platform with numerous uses cases. With the pandemic, video calls have become vital as people resort to remote working and telecommute and use video to keep in touch.