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Facebook is back to its old ways… stealing ideas from more innovative startups. *cough* Snapchat *cough*

This time FB is throwing its hat into the video chat ring... again. In an effort to help users make the most of the coronavirus lockdown, the ‘book released a new suite of offerings to help users connect. But the one causing the biggest buzz is its Messenger Rooms video chat platform.

Not its first rodeo

Facebook has tried its hand at video chat before through Messenger. Previously, users could video call one another on a level rivaling FaceTime, Skype, and whatever Google is up to. But it didn’t quite catch on because no one trusts Facebook with their private messages, let alone what some freaks are doing over video.

Now, with Messenger Rooms, up to 50 participants can join a call without even selling their souls for a Facebook account. Participants can also play with virtual backgrounds, and if Facebook’s regular user base is any sort of indication, there will be plenty of backgrounds featuring memes that were on Reddit a month before.

Following the leader

Facebook has clearly seen the success Zoom’s had. Since the beginning of the year, Zoom’s seen its shares, well, zoom, to a 130% premium. Its $44B market cap is also higher than nearly three-quarters of S&P 500 companies.

Given the company’s success, it’s no wonder Facebook wanted to mirror its functionality.

Cooler Commentary

If history is to be learned from, it’s only a matter of time before Facebook buys Zoom. Facebook, after buying Instagram, was quick to have the app known for dog videos and fitspo porn adapt the stories feature to keep up with Snapchat.

It also built out its Messenger platform shortly before buying up Whatsapp, so clearly Facebook knows best that if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.

Despite the massive surge to open the year, Facebook’s entrance into the fight sent Zoom shares down 6.1%. That, and the endless security breaches that Zoom’s made the news with over the last few weeks. 

Zoom’s Good Week Ends on Sour Note After Facebook Crashes Party [Bloomberg]

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