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Messenger Rooms: How Facebook’s New App Can Help Your Business, But Should It?

Messenger Rooms is Facebook’s new video conferencing tool, available now in its family of social media apps. It’s a response to extended COVID 19 lockdowns and the need for employees and business customers to communicate from home.

How to use Messenger Rooms

Forbes has probably the most succinct guide to using Messneger Rooms:

On both desktop and mobile, users who are logged into Facebook will see a Rooms section below the status bar.

Click Create to start your own room or click Join to add yourself to a friend’s video call.

You’ll be able to set a purpose for your room or choose one of Facebook’s examples, such as “Happy Hour” or “Here All Day.”

Users can control whether the room is public or private in the Who is Invited section.

Choosing to invite all your friends means everyone can see your room at the top of their homepage and join. Clicking the Invite Specific Friends button lets users choose which friends can see the room. An active public room for a graduation party, for example, lets friends or invitees pop in and out as they please by opening Facebook and clicking Join.

If you click Invite Specific Friends, the bottom right corner of the window has a Skip button that lets users forgo inviting anyone at all. Instead, users are given the option to turn on link sharing, meaning that anyone with the link, including people who aren’t your friends or don’t have Facebook, can join the room. After you turn on link sharing, the Create Room button will bring you to a window where you can copy the link.

In Facebook Groups or Events, users can create a room that will automatically appear as a post, giving group members or invitees the option to join. 

Forbes: “How To Use Messenger Rooms”

Here’s how to use Messenger Rooms inside the Facebook Messenger app.

After opening Facebook Messenger, tap the People tab on the bottom right corner of the screen.

Tap Create a Room.

Tap Share Link to invite anyone on any device to join the room, even if they don’t have Facebook.

Forbes: “How To Use Messenger Rooms”

Messenger Rooms, like other video conferencing platforms, has uses inside businesses and organizations for holding team meetings. Facebook already offers Workplace, a Slack competitor, for other forms of communication inside an employer’s account. We can expect Messenger Rooms to sync with Workplace if it hasn’t already.

How to Monetize Messenger Rooms

Facebook’s official Messenger Rooms web page lists some other features, either available now or in development, meant to help businesses and content creators make money with the service. These are best for businesses that host events, teach classes, offer coaching or consulting, or create content for entertainment or journalistic purposes. They’re also helpful for churches and other faith groups for broadcasting their services online and accepting collections.

We’re bringing back Live With so you can add another person into your live video, no matter where they are in the world. Bring on a guest speaker, interview an expert or perform with a friend.

You’ll be able to mark Facebook Events as online only and, in the coming weeks, integrate Facebook Live so you can broadcast to your guests. To support creators and small businesses, we plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook – anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences.

To help you raise money for causes, you can now add the donate button to live videos wherever nonprofit fundraisers are available.

To help you support some of your favorite creators, we’re expanding Stars to more Pages and more countries. Once you buy Stars you can send them to creators while they’re streaming, and they’ll earn 1 cent for every Star.

Facebook: “Introducing Messenger Rooms”

Pros and Cons of Messenger Rooms

Messenger Rooms has the benefit of being part of the Facebook environment, for good or bad. Facebook is the most used social network in the world, so Messenger Rooms’ potential users are already available. It is likely more secure from unwanted guests than Zoom, which has exploded since the COVID 19 pandemic reached the U.S.

On the other hand, Facebook has different security issues. Although the company has publicly committed to protecting users’ privacy, it’s likely that it collects user data indirectly. Facebook makes its money through advertisements, therefore it needs detailed information for efficient targeting. This is important for businesses of all sizes, who need to sell to their potential customers for the least amount of money.

There is also the concern of Facebook’s monopolistic ambitions. It’s not healthy for the economy if one or a few tech giants control the software app market. Facebook is great for marketing, but it’s my belief that a business should have its own website to carry out other work for customers. That way the business can control its messaging and be independent from Facebook’s ever-changing terms of service.

This week I will discuss other online meeting apps. If you follow my Xiphos Web Marketing Facebook page, you’ve probably seen my choice of service for both online meetings and membership websites.

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