If you weren’t satisfied with the existing offerings related to group video calls, the universe has manifested yet another one. This time it’s from Facebook. You may wonder — didn’t they already have group video calling? Well, yes. But, now you get a slightly advanced and interoperable version of group video calls — Messenger Rooms. We shall share 13 best tips and tricks to use Messenger rooms in this post.
Rooms can be created from your personal Facebook profile, Facebook groups and events, and from Facebook Messenger. For the uninformed, rooms are virtual spaces to connect with people without the need to download Facebook apps or create an account. Anyone can join a room as long as they have the room’s link. You can use rooms to host celebrations, conduct an online class, or simply connect with people sharing the same interests as yours.
Let’s see how to use Messenger rooms with the help of the following tips and tricks.
1. How to Create and Share a Room
To create a room from the Messenger app, launch the app. Tap on the People tab at the bottom. You will get Create a Room option at the top. Tap on it.
A room will be created. To share it with others, click on the Share link button. Copy the link and send it to your friends through any app or select the app from the in-app sharing menu where you want to send the link.
On the Messenger web, click on the room icon at the top of the chat list.
Click on Join as on the next screen.
To share the room with others, click on See call participants button at the bottom.
Then copy the link present under Invite people. Send the link to your friends so that they can join the room.
2. Change Privacy of Room
When you create a room, anyone with the link (with or without a Facebook account) can join it by default. In case, you want to limit the room to people having a Facebook account only, you can change its privacy before sharing the room link.
To do that on the Messenger mobile apps, tap on the Edit option next to the Who Can Join option on the room sharing screen. Select Only people on Facebook.
Note: That setting is missing from the web version of Messenger rooms, as of now.
Tip: When a room is created from the Facebook News Feed, you can customize who is invited. It can either be all of your Facebook friends or just a select few people.
3. Turn off Camera
You can disable your camera before joining a room or once you are in a room. To disable it before joining a room on mobile, tap on the camera icon at the top on the room joining screen.
To disable it when you are already in the room, swipe up on the room screen. Then tap on the ‘Camera on’ button to turn it off.
On the web, you will find the camera icon in the bottom toolbar of your room. Click on it to turn it off.
Tip: Use the Alt + V keyboard shortcut on PC to toggle video in a room.
4. Switch Camera
If you have used stories in any of the Facebook apps, you must be knowing that you can double-tap on the screen to switch between front and rear cameras. The same feature works in rooms as well. If it doesn’t, you will find a dedicated button at the bottom of the room screen to switch the camera.
5. Mute Yourself
Sometimes, you want to join a room where you only want to listen to others or mute audio from your side. In such situations, you can mute yourself. For that, tap on the mute icon at the bottom of the room’s screen on the mobile apps.
Tip: When an icon has a bar over it, that’s a sign that it is turned off.
On a computer too, you will find the mute icon in the bottom toolbar. Unfortunately, at the moment, you cannot mute everyone as present in Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Tip: Use the Alt + M keyboard shortcut to toggle mute on a computer in a room.
6. Use Effects and Filters
To add spice to your videos, you can add native AR effects, filters and even launch fun activities in your rooms. To do so, tap on the Effects icon on your video preview screen. A bunch of effects will open at the bottom. Use the one that you like. To remove an effect, click on the first icon present at the extreme left corner.
Facebook promises immersive 360-degree backgrounds for your video calls soon, and they would be somewhat similar to Zoom virtual backgrounds.
7. Change Camera (Computer Only)
If your computer has more than one camera, you can change the default camera for Messenger rooms. You can use this feature to add face filters and effects to your Messenger video using Snap Camera. All you need to do is switch to Snap Camera. Check our guide on how to use Snap Camera for filters in Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The same method applies to Messenger as well.
To change the camera, click on the Settings icon at the top in a Messenger room.
Then choose your camera from the Camera drop-down box. Similarly, you can change your microphone as well. Click on Save.
8. Disable Speakerphone
By default, the audio output routes through your phone’s speaker. If you are in a public place, you can switch the output to your phone’s earpiece. For that, swipe up on the room’s screen and tap on the Speaker button.
9. Share Screen
One of the important features of any video conferencing service is to share the screen. Thankfully, Facebook has added the same in rooms right from the beginning. To share your screen on mobile apps, swipe up in a room and tap on Share Your Screen. To stop sharing, tap on Stop on your video preview screen.
Click on the screen share icon present at the bottom of a room on a computer. You can either share your entire screen, a window, or a Chrome tab.
Tip: Use the keyboard shortcut Alt + S to start screen sharing.
10. Lock and Unlock Room
If you are a room creator, you can lock your room so that no one else can join it even if they have the link. Only the people that are already inside a room will be able to participate.
Note: A room is automatically locked if the creator leaves the room or they remove a participant. You need to unlock the room to allow more participants to join.
To lock your room on a computer, click on the See call participants icon at the bottom. Enable the toggle next to Lock room.
On mobile, swipe up in a room and enable the Lock Room option.
Tip: To unlock a room, repeat the same steps, and disable the Lock Room toggle.
11. Check and Remove Room Participants
Whether you are a room creator or a regular member, you can view the name of all other participants in a room. To do so on the mobile apps, swipe up in a room and tap on See Members or Manage Room depending on the available option. If you are a room creator, you will see the Remove option next to the name of the participants. Tap on it to remove them.
Note: Your room will be locked when you remove a participant.
Click on the See call participants icon on your computer. Then click on Remove if you want to throw out a member.
12. Leave a Room
Tap or click on the hangup option to leave the room if you are a participant. Note that you will no longer be able to view or hear from other participants in a room when you leave a room. However, you can join the room again (if it’s unlocked) by clicking on the room’s link.
When the you are the room creator and you leave, that changes a few things. Typically, one would think that when the room’s creator taps on the end call button, it should delete the room. However, that doesn’t happen. It just means the creator has left the room. The room continues to exist, and people can carry on their group video. However, that room gets locked. So no new participant can join until the creator rejoins the rooms and unlocks it.
13. Delete Room Permanently
To make the room’s link invalid, you need to delete the room permanently. Only a room creator can close the room.
To delete a room having participants, swipe up in your room on the mobile and tap on See Members (or Manage Room). Tap on End Room.
If no one is active in your room, tap on the cross icon at the top on the room screen. Then hit the End Room button.
On a computer, click on the See call participants button. Then, go to the Settings tab and click on End room.
Rooms seem to be an interesting addition to Facebook. You can join rooms that seem interesting to you and learn new things. Since no account or app is required to join a room, rooms will come handy to video call people who aren’t much familiar with technology such as parents or grandparents. We are excited to see what Facebook plans to add to rooms in the future.
Next up: Check out 15 interesting tips and tricks for Facebook Messenger stories from the next link to make your stories exciting.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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