As the Covid-19 outbreak envelopes all we know and love, the Internet has become a form of respite from this cataclysm we’re facing right now.

And that’s especially so for those residing in lockdown or quarantine-like areas, where Internet-enabled video-calling has become the sole outlet that enables ‘face-to-face’ interaction.

And that brings us to…

Image: seekingalpha.com

Now I’m sure you’re all familiar with the ‘Zoom’ video-calling tool, which has become the preferred vid calling function of choice all around the world. Armed with a host of video-calling options, adjustable ‘quirky’ backgrounds and sheer ease of use, it’s little wonder how Zoom has become one of the most vital aspects in this time of need.

Though of course, it could definitely do without the whole ‘hack into your live class and post lewd content’ gimmick, but that’s more of a ‘user’ kind of thing than anything else.

Nonetheless, one thing is certain: Covid-19 might have affected tons of businesses around the world, but Zoom is definitely not one of them. And that’s perhaps why the following headline’s hardly any surprise;

I’m sure anyone would crave a slice of that lucrative pie.

Facebook Launches Tool That Works Just Like Zoom & You Don’t Need a Facebook Account

Yes folks, your favourite app has done it again. Fresh from buying out its fiercest competitors such as WhatsApp and Instagram and wiping out Snapchat with its ‘Instagram Stories’ function, the app that tracks all your darkest activities on web has come into play again;

And this time it wants to give you a little Zoom-like video calling experience.

Facebook has introduced a video conferencing tool called Messenger Roomswhich will enable as many as 50 people to participate in the same call.

Wow, I can’t even imagine how messy that’s gonna be. Would be ideal for a seminar-like event though.

According to a Facebook statement, the video conferencing tool will exhibit a tiled layout of participant videos (with up to 16 on desktop and 8 on mobile) reminiscent of the design by Zoom.

There will also be no need to download an app or create an account like other services: Facebook users will be able to share links that permit non-users to join Messenger Rooms via a web browser (on both desktop and mobile).

No time limit will be imposed on calls either.

So talk for 72 hours straight if that’s your kind of thing, though I would highly recommend that you camp in the toilet with a breakfast tray and cup in tow for ease of convenience.

Needless to say, it’s Facebook, so you’d only be paying with nothing but your privacy. No biggie since Facebook already knows everything about you.

Zoom has a free version as well, which most of us use, but you’d have to pay for more features, and you can’t pay with your privacy.

A Product Already In The Works

According to Head of Messenger Stan Chudnovsky, the product was originally slated for release in the third and fourth quarters of the year; the launch date, however, was pushed forward after Facebook observed a spike in group calling during the lockdowns.

“Our video calls doubled, and when we’re looking at the group calls usage, that went up even higher,” said Chudnovsky. “So we figured out a way to build those things faster.”

To jump on the video conferencing bandwagon, Microsoft has also introduced a new “Meet Now” tool for Skype, which will permit video meetings of up to 50 people without the need to download any app.

Meanwhile, Google is currently working on enhancements for its Meet tool for businesses too. The tool was reportedly its fastest-growing service this year, and looks set to continue its surge in this time of crisis.

Well, it looks like Zoom has some serious competitors here. But then again it’s all business isn’t it?

Once you’ve unearthed a gold mine, you can be sure that there will be others who cotton on and want a slice of that too.

Meanwhile, stay home and stay safe, people. With an ever-increasing host of video options for you to liaise with your dear friends, one thing is sure:

The Coronavirus might have taken our freedom, but it might not necessarily take away our happiness.

So chit chat with your friends as per usual, and who knows?

It might be a clean world once again the next time you look outside.


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