Facebook Messenger Rooms Enters Video Conferencing Market

Three weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, revealed Messenger Rooms, the Social Media giant’s response to video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. This new product will enable users to create virtual “Rooms” to host online events, conference calls, product demos — you name it!


According to Zuckerberg, Messenger Rooms is extremely easy to use. To invite users to a virtual event, users need only send them an automatically generated link. Then, to join, guests simply click on the link and they’re in — no Facebook account required. 


Events hosted on Messenger Rooms do not have any time restrictions and support up to 50 attendees.


Our recent analysis of the Microsoft Teams app demonstrated that the video conferencing platform experienced a massive spike in downloads starting in the beginning of March. So, it should come as no surprise that Facebook wants a piece of the pie as well. Indeed, in the age of coronavirus, as people look for better ways to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues, demand for quality video conferencing platforms is on the rise. 


So, three days ago, Facebook announced that the Messenger Rooms feature is now available in the Facebook Messenger app worldwide. Moreover, they will release the feature on other services, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, that are under their stewardship. 


Using our Explorer tool we took a quick look at the download trends on Google Play. Daily downloads for Facebook Messenger appear to be on an upswing:


Facebook Messenger Rooms download data


This is expected because the Rooms feature is available on Messenger for just a few days. 


Curiously, if you examine Messenger’s changelog — also courtesy of our Explorer tool — you will see that the app’s tagline was changed on March 23rd, 2020. The tagline now reads: “Free group video chat, video calls, voice calls and text messaging.” Those paying attention to the timeline will notice that the changelog appears to have announced the arrival of Messenger Rooms well in advance of Zuckerberg!


Facebook Messenger Rooms changelog data


So, the video conferencing battle is heating up! 


Indeed, Facebook’s number one competitor is Zoom, whose app boasts a staggering 100+ million downloads. But the app is plagued with security issues. Check out their changelog over the last 11 days:

Zoom changelog data


By contrast, Messenger Rooms is unlikely to have similar security issues since it uses end-to-end encryption. 


Furthermore, Zoom downloads appear to be stagnating, a trend that we predict will continue. Of course, it’s also possible that, with the arrival of Messenger Rooms, Zoom’s downloads see a modest decline.


Zoom download data

It should be noted that Google is also joining the video conferencing fray, having announced that the popular Google Meets — which was previously a paid app available inside GSuite — will now be free and open for public use. (If you’re interested in learning more about Google Meets, try our Explorer for free or schedule a demo.)


Facebook is famous for having a tight grip on the user base. During the coronavirus lockdowns, more and more people have turned to video conferencing apps, pulling users away from Facebook services. As such, the launch of Messenger Rooms is not only a maneuver to bring users back into the Facebook fold but also one aimed at drawing new users to their services.