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Facebook’s ‘Messenger Rooms’ Multi-Participant Video Chat Option is Now Available to All

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After first announcing the option late last month, Facebook is now making its new Messenger Rooms multi-participant video hangouts option available to all users globally.

Messenger Rooms

Messenger Rooms enables users to host video chat rooms of up to 50 people, with friends able to see when you have a room active at the top of their Facebook feed, and drop in if they want to join the discussion. Rooms are also available within Facebook groups and events

The option first became available to users in Australia last week – and having tested it out a few times, it does feel a little clunky and rushed at this stage.

Initially, when Rooms first started appearing in Australian user feeds, it didn’t work at all, with the ‘Create Room’ button failing to launch anything. Then you were able to create a Room via the desktop version of Facebook, but you had to join it via Messenger – so you could create an active room with nobody in it, and seemingly no way to join it yourself, unless you went digging.

Facebook’s also changed the in-app presentation of the Rooms carousel a couple of times already, as you can see in these screenshots from Meg Coffey.

Messenger Rooms

A problem that’s likely to cause confusion is that the carousel lists not only people who’ve created a Room, but also those who are simply active on Messenger at any given time. That’s a little confusing, as it appears, at a glance, that all of these people are in their own Rooms, and up for a chat – but if you tap on the ‘Say Hi’ CTA at the bottom of their profile image (you can see this in the second image above), you simply send them a message, because they’re not actually in a Room.

Early rumblings from Australian users haven’t been overly great, while the UX of Rooms is also fairly basic. Essentially, it’s a Messenger video call, which people can ask to be added to as it’s in progress. Which, I guess, is as advertised, but still, it doesn’t feel as collaborative or open to group discussion as, for example, Zoom, which many have suggested Rooms is competing against.

Still, Facebook says that time in group video chats has increased 1,000% in recent weeks, and providing an alternative social connection option makes a lot of sense in the current situation. 

Facilitating casual video chats seems like a good proposition, but Facebook may still need to refine Rooms a little more before it becomes a more significant element.

Note: Messenger Rooms are not available to Facebook Pages at this stage.

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LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

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LinkedIn has outlined its latest batch of updates for Company Pages, most of which had already been previewed in some capacity, but are now being rolled out on a broader basis.

First off, LinkedIn’s making its new post templates available to all company pages.

LinkedIn post templates

As you can see in these examples, LinkedIn’s post templates, as they sound, provide a range of visual enhancements for your LinkedIn updates, which could help to make them stand out in feeds.

LinkedIn originally launched post templates for individual users last month, but now, it’s making them available for Company Page updates as well.

As per LinkedIn:

Create engaging, actionable LinkedIn content easier than ever with customizable templates, available directly in the LinkedIn app, with no third-party tools required.”

I mean, I don’t know that these types of posts really fit with LinkedIn’s professional approach. But then again, as many have noted, LinkedIn is increasingly becoming more like Facebook anyway, with more personal posts and updates that are less focused on professional aspects.

And that seems to be working – LinkedIn’s parent company Microsoft keeps reporting ‘record levels of engagement’ in the app every quarter, so maybe this is actually a good, valuable addition.

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We’ll see how people feel about it when every other LinkedIn ‘thinkfluencer’ is posting using these templates. You can access post templates in the mobile app by tapping the ‘use template’ option in the post composer menu.

As an addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making its new link stickers available for Company Pages too, which could help to drive more direct response to your updates.

LinkedIn link sticker

On another front, LinkedIn will also now enable all Company Pages to pin comments beneath their brand posts.

LinkedIn Pinned Comments

The rollout for this feature also started last month, with some users seeing the option to pin comments in the app.

That could be a good way to spark more focused engagement, and highlight top fans, while you could also use this to simply boost interactions by pinning the comment with the most engagement at the top of the reply chain.  

As a reminder, LinkedIn Company Pages can also pin an update for similar purpose.

Finally, LinkedIn has also added a new Our featured commitments’ section for Company Pages, where brands will be able to showcase their most important values.

“Increasingly in today’s market, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on their values. They’re interested in knowing where companies stand on issues that are important to them, such as DEI, work-life balance, sustainability, etc. To provide greater insight and connections, LinkedIn is enabling employers to highlight these commitments on their LinkedIn company page to define their talent brand and values.” 

Brands will be able to include up to five commitments in their featured commitments section, while you’ll also be able to host content that demonstrates the same, all of which will be displayed in a sub-panel in the ‘About’ section of your Page.

These are some potentially handy updates, with the link stickers and pinned comments standing out as likely the most valuable additions for LinkedIn page managers.

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Post templates I’m not as sold on, especially for brands – but then again, there may be ways to use these templates to improve the presentation of your posts, and maybe, that’ll increase overall engagement.

You can read about all of LinkedIn’s latest company page updates here.

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