If you hadn’t heard of Zoom before, chances are you have now. In these past weeks, Zoom has become one of the most popular ways to communicate with people in both personal and professional settings. While we have not been able to meet in person, video conferencing has been the top way to maintain connection. The increase in popularity had people all over the world wishing they had the foresight to invest in Zoom pre-pandemic. Now enter Facebook Messenger Rooms. In the midst of Zoom’s popularity, Facebook debuted their own video-conference service, “Messenger Rooms.” Messenger Rooms was unveiled on Friday, April 24th, and by the following Monday, Zoom’s stock had already dropped 12% according to Robinhood.com.
While there’s no doubt that Facebook Messenger Rooms are a force to be reckoned with, which video conferencing platform is best for your business? We’ll help break down the pros and cons of each platform to ensure you’re putting your best face forward.
Both platforms are free, initially. For a video call between two people, Zoom is free and has no time limit. If you add a person to that call however, Zoom limits the call to 40 minutes max. Facebook Messenger Rooms on the other hand is free, and allows meetings up to 50 people with no time limit.
Zoom has always been more focused on professional video conferencing, and possesses both a screen sharing feature, and a recording feature where video and audio of meetings can be saved and shared. Messenger Rooms also allows for screen sharing, but lacks the ability to record calls. It’s important to note that Messenger Rooms is housed within the Facebook Messenger App. Facebook Messenger is primarily used for personal use, such as communication with family and friends, so unless your business uses Facebook for professional communication purposes, the environment of Messenger Rooms may not be the business setting you’re looking for.
While Zoom has the 40 minute limit on meetings of more than two people, the free version still supports meetings of up to 100 people within that time limit. The paid version of Zoom can host 300 or even up to 500 video conference attendees. At the moment, while Messenger Rooms does not have any time limit, the amount of participants is limited to 50.
Connecting with Your Audience
Zoom is user friendly and allows for meeting invitations through use of a link, or by dialing into the conference via a phone number. Zoom also has the option to enforce a password for an extra layer of security. Messenger Rooms uses the audience already built into the Facebook and Facebook Messenger app. This makes it easy to share rooms in Facebook groups, events, or even on the newsfeed. This feature allows for Facebook users to drop into the video call. Since Facebook owns both WhatsApp and Instagram, advances such as rooms for Instagram Direct and WhatsApp groups will likely be added soon.
To decide which video-conferencing platform is better for your business, consider what factors are most important to you. If your business is small, and works within a casual setting, Facebook Messenger Rooms could be an option. If your business is communicating frequently with other businesses, or need to conference with large numbers of people, Zoom is likely the better option. Regardless, we’re welcoming Messenger Rooms with open arms as a way to stay connected with our family, friends, and community.