How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms to video chat with friends and family from any device

  • You can use Facebook Messenger Rooms to video chat with up to 50 people at once from the Messenger app for mobile or desktop, or from the Facebook website. 
  • You can invite anyone to a Facebook Messenger Rooms video call, whether they use Facebook or not.
  • On any device, you can choose to create a Room for now, or schedule one for later. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

When it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends remotely, face-to-face conversations are essential.

A host of new video chatting apps have popped up to fill the need for virtual togetherness. One of the newest is Facebook Messenger Rooms, an extension of Facebook’s popular Messenger platform.

With Messenger Rooms, users can create a “room” and video chat with up to 50 people at a time.

You can even add people who don’t use Messenger — all you have to do is make sure that they have a link, and you’re good to go.

You can start a Messenger room from the mobile or desktop app, or from the desktop website. Here’s how.

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the mobile app

1. Open the Facebook Messenger app on your device. In the menu at the bottom of the screen, tap “Chats.”

2. At the top of the Chats page, tap “Create Room.”

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Tap “Create Room” at the top of the Chats page on the mobile app.
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3. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, the next page introduces how you can use Rooms by inviting guests with a link, joining a room without an account, and using the feature from any device. Tap “Try It.”

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If you’ve never used Rooms before, you’ll be introduced with this screen — tap “Try It.”
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

4. In the next pop-up screen, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customized name. Click “Who can join automatically?” and choose who to invite by selecting either “Anyone with the link” or “People you invite.” If you want to schedule the meeting for later, click the “Schedule for later” toggle button and select a date and time.

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Set up your room by naming it, choosing who can join, and selecting your date and time.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

5. On the next screen, select your Facebook friends or groups you want to invite. Or, copy the link at the top of the screen and send it to invitees via email, text, etc. Tap “Done” in the upper right corner once you’ve invited all your guests.

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Select friends to invite or share the link, and then select “Done.”
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6. Your invitees can then join the room by opening the link you shared with them. Once others have joined the room, you can remove or add guests, lock the room, or add virtual backgrounds. 

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the desktop app

1. Open the Messenger app on your computer. The app can be downloaded for Mac or PC.

2. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, a banner may appear at the top of the left side panel, that says “Messenger Rooms” — click the button to “Try it.” If you have used Messenger Rooms before, the button to “Create a room” will appear at the top of the left side panel, underneath the search bar — click on “Create a room.” 

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Click “Create a Room” in the top left corner of the Messenger desktop app.
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3. A pop-up will appear introducing you to Messenger Rooms. Tap “Try It” in the bottom right corner.

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Click “Try It” in the pop-up.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

4. In the next pop-up screen, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customized name. Click “Who can discover and join?” and choose who to invite by selecting either “Friends you invite and people with the link” or “Only friends you invite.” If you want to schedule the meeting for later, click the “Schedule for later” toggle button and select a date and time.

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Set up your room by giving it a name, choosing guests, and setting a time.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

5. Then click “Create Room.”

6. In the next pop-up, you can choose Facebook friends to invite, or copy the shareable link to send via text, email, Messenger, and more. 

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You can invite additional friends here.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

7. Once you’ve selected all your guests, click “Join Room,” then click “Join Room” again in the pop-up.

8. The following screen will take you to the Room, where your camera image will appear in the bottom right corner and your invited guests will begin appearing. In this window, you can choose to share your screen, invite more friends via a shareable link, turn off your video or mic, see call participants, or leave the room. 

How to use Facebook Messenger Rooms on the desktop site

1. Go to the Facebook website and log into your account, if necessary. 

2. Underneath the “What’s on your mind?” module for creating a new post, you’ll see a “Rooms” module, beside a purple and blue video camera icon. In the top right corner of that “Rooms” module, click the blue link to “Create room.”

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Click “Create room” in the Rooms module.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

3. In the “Create your room” pop-up, click “Room activity” to give your room a suggested or customized name. Click “Who is invited?” to invite either all your friends or to select specific friends. Finally, click “Start time” to choose if you’d like to start the chat now, or at a later date. 

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Click through “Room activity,” “Who is invited?,” and “Start time” to set up your event.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

4. Then, click the blue “Create room” button.

5. On the next pop-up screen, you can invite more people, share the link, edit the room, end the room, and see a list of your invited friends so far. 

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Here you can edit your room, share the link with additional guests, and more.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

6. To join the room, click the blue “Join” button. 

7. A separate window will pop-up. If you’ve never used Messenger Rooms before, click the button that says “Try it.” If you have used Rooms before, click the button that says “Join Room.”

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In the pop-up window, click the blue button to either “Join Room” or “Try It.”
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

8. The following screen will take you to the Room, where your camera image will appear in the bottom right corner and your invited guests will begin appearing. In this window, you can choose to share your screen, invite more friends via a shareable link, turn off your video or mic, see call participants, or leave the room. 

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In your Room, you can add more guests, mute your mic or video, see all participants, and more.
Grace Eliza Goodwin/Business Insider

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