Facebook Messenger Rooms… and more!

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We wanted to give you a heads up about a couple of Facebook announcements that were made at the end of last week.


Messenger Rooms

Lately Facebook has felt the demand for real-time video. In areas most affected by COVID-19, video calling on Messenger and WhatsApp more than doubled, and views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos increased significantly in March. But there’s more to do to make real-time feel real.

Messenger Rooms makes it easy to spend quality time with friends, loved ones and people who share your interests. Create a room right from Messenger or Facebook, and invite anyone to join your video call, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. Rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit.

Host celebrations, gather a book club or just hang out on the couch with friends. You don’t need to call someone and hope it’s a good time or check everyone’s calendar first. You can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events, so it’s easy for people to drop by. Soon we’ll add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct and Portal, too.

Messenger Rooms is rolling out in some countries this week and will expand to the rest of the world in coming weeks.


‘Stay Home’ Collection In Effect Gallery

As part of our efforts to help people feel connected and have fun while practicing social distancing, this week we launched a ‘Stay Home’ unit in the Effects gallery in Instagram.  This collection features AR effects from Creators promoting social solidarity, ways to stay active, challenges, and fun games.

How It Works

  • Open IG Camera
  • Scroll to right end of camera tray
  • Tap on IG Effect Gallery icon
  • See ‘Stay Home’ collection
  • Tap “View Effects” to see featured collection of ‘Stay Home’ effects

Using these Effects is a great way for your artists to stay engaged with their fans while doing a little social good in the process.

Challenges In Stories

We’ve seen that challenges are a fun way to interact with your friends and community, and that people are using @mentions, text and hashtags to join popular challenges. Starting today, we’re testing Challenges in Stories, which makes it easy to create and participate in challenges through a sticker or nominations from friends. For this test, we have whitelisted a small number of artists who will have the ability to challenge.

How does it work?

  • You can start a challenge by:
    • Using the #challenges sticker (in your sticker tray)
    • You’ll then be given the option to nominate friends, who will receive a DM encouraging them to participate
  • You can participate in a challenge by: 
    • Tapping on the challenge sticker you see in someone else’s story
    • Receiving a nomination (from someone who’s created a challenge) in your DM
    • From there, tap ‘Try this Challenge’ to open the camera
    • Participate in the challenge and share to your own story

For this test, everyone will be able to participate in challenges, but only a limited number of challenges will be available.  If your artists do not have access to this feature yet, we’ll be working to expand the ability to create Challenges to more people over time.


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