Facebook Rooms Takes Top Spot From Stories

Facebook Rooms

Facebook Rooms Takes Top Spot From Stories

SKIP TO THE BIT YOU WANT : 

In a recent update across both mobile & desktop, Facebook has made the NEW Facebook Rooms front and centre at the top of both feeds, above the stories feature that had been their main focus. 

Whatever Facebook puts front and centre will get the most attention and viewership, so have a think about how you could use these to your benefit…

Facebook Rooms Desktop View
Facebook Rooms Desktop View

What are Facebook Rooms? 

This is a NEW feature on Facebook that allows people to set up ‘rooms’ where they can control the topic, who can access and allows people to ‘get together’ virtually during the challenging times of this global pandemic. 

You can ready the full release notes on this product HERE 

Whenever we see Facebook ‘break’ we know there is a NEW feature roll out happening, despite there being no official update notes on the app store or website, it’s a great indicator of more to come! 
Tristan Griffiths #ImTristanG

Facebook Rooms Are Easily Accessible

Facebook Rooms are easily accessible from both mobile and desktop and provide a virtual ‘room’ for people to ‘stop by’ whenever they want…

In this time when people may feel disconnected this could be a lifeline for many who are starting to feel more and more isolated as time goes on. 

This allows for more serendipity to happen, as you wouldn’t know when people would stop by or what for… but it’s always great to connect!

As you can see here, this is how the desktop view appears, just above Facebook Stories, and joining a Facebook Room is as easy as tapping on the icon… 

Facebook Rooms Desktop View

Joining or Entering a Facebook Room 

When you tap one of these existing Facebook Rooms you will be able to join, provided you have permissions, without much effort… 

Simply click the room you want to join & then ‘JOIN AS using your Messenger login credentials….

Facebook Rooms Upon Entry

If that person does not have a room setup you will be prompted t’o ‘ Say Hi ‘  – which is Facebook‘s way of prompting you to setup a room with that person or to connect on Messenger

If you want to hang out more informally then you can Create A Room otherwise you can simply message that person on Messenger directly as per the image below.

Facebook Rooms Not Setup

Upon entering the Facebook Room, you will be asked to check and setup  video and audio in the settings section.

As you can see from the image below, you have some keyboard shortcuts ready for your convenience, as well as choices of video input & audio input and output. 

When selecting an audio source you can visually se a wave form to check the mic is working & there is a short sample audio to check your output audio levels too & configure these where necessary.

Facebook Rooms Settings

When you create your own room and join, you will obviously be alone, which may seem a little odd, but it’s an opportunity for people working or living apart from one another to be able to virtually spend time together and to just pop in and chat as and when convenient.

Facebook Rooms Inside

Once someone else joins the room, it will make a lot more sense and feel a lot more natural as it is basically a video call, much like the nature of video calls most people are already used o, simply within Facebook Rooms by Messenger

Remember when inside the Room / Call you have full control of enabling and disabling your audio and video as you require via the controls at the bottom. 

Facebook Rooms With Guests

As you may not know everyone inside a Facebook Room – you have the ability to click at the top left and

  • View Profile [Opens in a new tab
  • Message [Directly to user in Messenger not Facebook Room
  • Remove User [If you are admin of the Facebook Room
Facebook Rooms Participants Info

Inside A Facebook Room 

Facebook has designed rooms for people to really connect, have fun and relate to one another. As such it wants these rooms to be easy to use, which I have to admit they are!

Below you can see a test call I did with my brother from another mother Lee Jackson to look through and test al the features to fast track your understand of how it could be used for your own applications.

The actual Facebook Room (call) pops up in a separate window to your main Facebook – which whilst good for focussed attention, is not great in the fact it can get lost behind other window on your computer!!

Facebook Rooms More Fun

Facebook Room Controls

Inside the Facebook Room you have a variety of controls to ensure you are in charge of what people see or hear whilst you are in them. 

Below you can see the range of controls in the panel that appears at the bottom of the screen in every Facebook Room 

Facebook Room Controls Include 

Screen Sharing In Facebook Rooms 

Facebook Rooms Share Your Screen

Easy to use screen sharing that allows you to share

  • Entire Screen
  • Application Window
  • Individual Browser Tab

This would be great for delivering training, talks and sharing resource and slides etc. 

It’s easy to STOP sharing as you can see in the image & you have a notification reminder at the top of your browser and the Facebook Room to let you know you are still sharing. 

A definite concern for the likes of Zoom video conferencing and other webinar applications, although the current cap on rooms is 50 people

Facebook Rooms Stop Screen Sharing
Facebook Rooms Screen Sharing Warning

In order to STOP screen sharing you have two options ; 

  1. Click Blue Stop at top of screen / browser 
  2. Click Stop over shared image in Facebook Room 
Facebook Rooms Stop Screen Sharing

See All Participants In Facebook Room

Facebook Rooms See All Participants

This button allows you to pop up a new window so you can see everyone in the Facebook Room you are currently in.

If you are an admin of the room you can also choose to LOCK the room so no-one else can join – ideal for more private conversations & discussions.

Facebook Rooms Participants

Facebook Rooms Video Controls

Facebook Rooms Turn Off Video

Pretty self explanatory, this is how you decide if your video is visible to the Facebook Room or not, this is one click on / off. 

Facebook Rooms Microphone Controls

Facebook Rooms Mute Microphone

Pretty self explanatory, this is how you decide if your microphone is enabled or disable for the Facebook Room or not, this is one click on / off. 

Leaving Facebook Rooms 

Facebook Rooms Leave Room

Pretty self explanatory, this is how you exit or leave the current  Facebook Room you are in, this is one click on / off and as simple as ending a phone call.

Facebook Rooms Room No Longer Exists

Facebook Rooms Closing

When a Facebook Room or call ends the link expires – another security measure? 

Whatever it is when the room is done, it’s done! 

Good Things About Facebook Rooms 

  1. Ease of use & accessibility through Messenger & Facebook 
  2. Ability to screen share natively
  3. Easy to see all participants on Facebook Room & check their profiles / message them directly in Messenger
  4. Ability to have upto 50 people in a Facebook Room 
  5. Looking pretty stable [ not tested with 50 users  yet though

Bad Things About Facebook Rooms 

  1. Pop-up window for  Facebook Rooms can get lost behind other windows on the computer.
  2. As always with Facebook & partners, data privacy and security concerns.
  3. Have to have a Facebook Account* [ Untested

TL;DR

  • Facbook is prioritising Facebook Rooms over Stories in the feeds
  • Easy to setup, join and use
  • Up to 50 people in a Facebook Room 
  • Control over who can join rooms
  • When room ends the link closes for new attendees
  • Screen share Capabilities 
  • Encryption Included for all Facebook Rooms
  • Runs in Messenger too

Whilst on the surface this looks like a great offering, maybe you need to consider the privacy of your conversations and dat before diving in feet first for all calls and trainings. 

Facebook is promising more privacy and security, but as they say, once trust is broken. But that is your choice to make… 

  • What do you think ?
  • Would love to know your thoughts and what you will use Facebook Rooms for? 
  • Will this play a role in getting Facebook closer to a Monopoly as it fights off contenders like Zoom
Facebook Rooms 2

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