Last week, Facebook launched Messenger Rooms, a video chat service and potential Zoom competitor. Now, Facebook is bringing video chat to Workplace, its Slack alternative. Today, the company introduced Workplace Rooms, a “virtual meeting space,” where users can host video calls with up to 50 people.
There’s no limit on how long the meetings can be, and you don’t need a Workplace account to join a call. Workplace users can create video call links from Workplace Chat, Groups, News Feed or Portal and share them in a chat, post, email or text. The feature also offers screen sharing for easy collaboration, and you can lock a room to prevent others from joining it -- no “zoombombing” here. You can also remove participants if necessary.
The move suggests that Facebook wants to compete with Zoom in both formal and informal settings. It’s also another dig at Slack, which added a Microsoft Teams video call option last month. According to Facebook, Workplace has five million paid users, an increase of two million since October, and Work Groups -- a type of Facebook Group for coworkers -- has over 20 million monthly active users after just six months.
Like all video chat services, Workplace Rooms will have to earn users’ trust, especially after Facebook’s string of privacy blunders and Zoom’s recent struggles with security. For what it’s worth, Facebook says a new link will be generated every time you create a new room, and links will expire.