Some WhatsApp mobile users get access to Messenger Rooms for 50-way video calls

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Facebook has been busy trying to get a slice of the Zoom video calling pie with the launch of Messenger Rooms, a video conferencing tool with support for up to 50 participants. As promised, links to Rooms are now appearing in WhatsApp.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, the beta versions of WhatsApp for Android and WhatsApp for iOS now feature shortcuts to Messenger Rooms, so users can jump straight from one app to the other.

For now though, the links are only appearing for certain users in certain countries. Even if you switch to the beta version of WhatsApp, you won't necessarily see the newly added Messenger Rooms functionality.

When Messenger Rooms first appeared, Facebook did say it would be integrated into Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and the Portal video caller, and it seems to be wasting no time as far as WhatsApp is concerned.

One messaging platform to rule them all

A few days ago we saw Messenger Rooms integration arrive for WhatsApp on the web, so the foundations are obviously in place for a full roll out. If early testing goes well, this should be available to all WhatsApp users before too long.

Messenger Rooms does everything you would expect a competent video calling application to do. Participants can join in even without a Facebook account, and there's the all-important support for virtual backgrounds too.

With many of us stuck at home more regularly, WhatsApp itself is getting improved video calling features as well – support for 8-way video chats was just added – while competitors like Google are upgrading their own video tools.

Last year Facebook said that it wanted to unify messaging across all of its apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – though we haven't heard too much about that since. Expect a lot more crossover between these apps in the coming months.

Via XDA Developers

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.