As business meetings and even family gatherings switch to online platforms due to the coronavirus outbreak, several apps are standing out. As such, the one that has been getting the most attention recently is Zoom. With social distancing as the new norm, directed by public health officials, video conferencing apps are becoming essential.

To deliver an experience on par with what others offer, Facebook is presently enabling Messenger Rooms to accommodate up to 50 users in one session. Tech industry analysts speculate that the company could be eyeing to take on Zoom. The latter unexpectedly rose to the top shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic affected business operations. According to a guide uploaded by the Evening Standard, the update is now available. However, it might be rolling out to different countries at a later time.

How to start using Facebook Messenger Rooms

To get started, whoever is hosting the video conference should have a Facebook account. It can be launched on an internet browser on compatible hardware or through the Messenger app. Furthermore, it was pointed out that active sessions do not have a time limit. This is a distinct advantage over the free version of Zoom, which automatically terminates after 40 minutes.

Those who plan to use it for casual conversation with friends and family can also add some entertaining elements. These include various virtual backgrounds such as a ballpark, beach, and more. Additionally, users can apply camera filters as they fit. The developers are reportedly working on even more add-ons that will become available later on.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, Facebook VP of Messenger Stan Chudnovsky highlighted some notable metrics. It appears that there is a remarkable increase in video calls and viewership on Facebook Live. Likewise, Instagram Live is seeing a significant upsurge of usage as well.

A lit sign is seen at the entrance to Facebook's corporate headquarters location in Menlo Park, California on March 21, 2018. (Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

He said: "Spending time with each other should be spontaneous, not strained. So to help people feel like they're together, even when they are — or have to be — physically apart, we're announcing features across our products that make video chat and live video more easy, useful and natural." The trend of using platforms such as Zoom and Facebook Messenger Rooms is likely to continue until a cure or vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is discovered.