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Facebook Messenger does group video chats with up to 50 people

Published Dec 19th, 2016 11:12PM EST

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You wanted it, and Facebook delivered! It’s Facebook Messenger chat app now supports video chat with up to 50 people. The bad news is that only six of them can actually view each other. That’s also the good news.

After all, you don’t really want to video chat 50 people at once, do you? And even if you did, you’d probably want to only see a few of them at a time, given that these chats usually take place on mobile devices.

If there are only six people in any given video chat, everyone will see everyone else. The moment you add more than that, the Messenger app will only display the dominant speaker’s feed.

All you need to do to use the feature is to update your Facebook Messenger app on iOS or Android to the latest version. Once a video chat has started, you’ll still be able to use the chat app’s other features. You know, just in case that video chat is too annoying.

facebook-messenger-group-video-chatImage source: Facebook

Other Facebook Messenger competitors also support group video chatting. Google Hangouts and Microsoft Skype have the same feature, but they are limited to 10 participants. Slack just added video chat a few days ago.

Furthermore, WhatsApp — Facebook’s other popular messaging app — also does video chats. One of Facebook’s biggest rivals, Snapcat, supports video calling as well.

If that’s not enough, then iOS users can also use Apple’s built-in FaceTime feature for video calling, and Google has Duo. But don’t expect 50 people suddenly joining in for video chatting sessions.

The fact that Facebook supports up to 50 individuals in the same video chat won’t impress groups of friends or families who want to get in touch using video chat apps. But the feature might be appealing to small businesses and anyone who does a lot of video conferencing for a living.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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