Instagram is the latest of Facebook’s services to gain support for its new group video chat feature, Messenger Rooms. Follow along for a look at how it works…

Facebook announced and rolled out Messenger Rooms as a Zoom and Group FaceTime competitor to a small group of users in April. Then last week Facebook opened it up to everyone with support for up to 50 people in a video chat.

Part of the plan was to bring Messenger Rooms to Instagram and WhatsApp, and today, Instagram has gained support for the new feature. Instagram shared the news in a Twitter post and elsewhere.

Technically, the new functionality just allows you to start the call through Instagram, but has you leave the app and head to Messenger for the actual video call.

How to start Instagram group video chat with Messenger Rooms:

  1. In Instagram, head to Direct (paper airplane in the top right corner)
  2. Tap the video icon in the top right corner (left of the new DM icon)
  3. Select Create a Room then tap Create Room as…
  4. Choose up to 49 friends, choose Send
  5. Now tap Join Room to head to the video chat you created (this will take you out of Instagram)

Instagram notes that you can lock a Messenger Room if you want to limit who can join. If you aren’t seeing the feature available quite yet, it should arrive soon.

As we’ve previously mentioned, Messenger Rooms group video chats are not encrypted like Group FaceTime or even WhatsApp video chats. If you need something secure, you’ll want to go with another option. However, for casual video calls, Messenger Rooms will certainly see an uptick in use with the new Instagram integration.

For the time being, WhatsApp is offering video calls for up to eight people that keep users in the app. But at some point, Facebook is expected to integrate Messenger Rooms support there, too.

Here’s how the process looks:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Incipio Organicore iPhone case

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.