Facebook Messenger, which used to be only accessible in Facebook itself, is now a standalone app for your phone and tablet.
As well as being an instant messenger, you can also use it for video calls.
Here we’ll show you how to set up a group video chat – because it’s not exactly obvious – and how you can share your screen while on a call, as well as apply Snapchat-style effects and play silly games.
How do you do a 3-way call on Facebook messenger?
You can do this on the Facebook website as well as in Messenger, but here we’re using the app, which has just had a facelift – the new interface is also available on desktop and features a new dark mode.
It’s simple to start a video chat with one contact. Just open Messenger, tap on your conversation with that person, or tap the pencil at the top right and search your contacts for someone you want to call.
Tap the video camera icon at the top, and it will call them. Once they answer there should be an icon at the bottom of the screen of a person with a + sign. If not, tap the screen once to bring up the controls.
Now you can add extra people to the chat.
Another way to do it, which is useful if you regularly group chat with the same people, is to create a group. To do that, tap the pencil icon at the top right of the app (on the main screen) and then tap Create a new group.
Add the people from the list of contacts, name the group, then tap Next at the top.
You’ll be taken to a new conversation screen where you can send messages, but if you want to do a video call, tap the video camera icon (marked 4, above).
This will place a call with all participants in the group.
Again, you can tap the icon (5) and then add more people to your group chat if you want to.
When you’re chatting, tap the screen to bring up the controls. Here you can mute your microphone or video if you need to, but you can also share your screen with the group, so they can see whatever is on your screen.
To share your screen tap the icon at the top (marked 7 in the screenshot below) and then Continue. This disables your camera. If you’re using the Messenger app, you’ll need to return to your phone’s home screen, otherwise the group will only see a black screen.
You’re then free to open other apps or navigate around the operating system to demonstrate whatever you want to show – the group can still hear you speak.
Add Snapchat-style effects
If you want to have some fun, tap on the icon in the middle at the bottom of your video window. This brings up a menu at the bottom with Effects, Activities and Filters.
Effects works just like Snapchat filters, distorting your face, adding glasses or other objects over your face.
Activities include various mini games you can all play, and filters change the colour and can also alter your face.