Facebook has become the most popular social media platform on the Earth. If you have an interest in social media, chances are you have a Facebook profile.
Many use it to stay in touch with friends and family. This is why Facebook Messenger and Facebook video chat have become so popular. In fact, Facebook released its own hardware named ‘Portal’ just to help people with video chats!
The Facebook Messenger app is available on iOS, macOS, Windows, and Android. In each app, you can have a Facebook Messenger video chat natively, and hold a Facebook group video chat with your whole family.
Group calls are one of the main draws for the Messenger video chat feature. With friends and family so spread out, easily being able to video chat has been really handy and comforting for many people.
How to Make Messenger Video Call on the Web
There’s one thing all video chat services have in common: they require a strong internet connection. If you have a weak signal, the video gets choppy, stutters, buffers, lags, and is just plain terrible.
It doesn’t have to be that way! While you can’t control your WiFi speeds, you can choose the right connection. To ensure your video calls are always streaming perfectly, we advise using NetSpot and/or WiFi Explorer for Mac. Both apps do a wonderful job of identifying the networks available to you with the best speed and connectivity, so your video chats will always stream perfectly clear and without buffering.
Here’s how to make a Messenger video call on the web:
- Open a browser of your choice
- Navigate to Facebook
- Log in to Facebook if you’re not logged in already
- On the left side of the page, select ‘Messenger’
- Select the avatar of the person you’d like to have a video chat with
- Select the camera icon next to their name
When the person you’re calling answers the video chat, you will see them occupy your screen. Your screen (their view of you) will be on the bottom corner.
How to Use Facebook Video Chat on iOS Devices
Video chat on Facebook mobile is much the same process as with the desktop. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to the App Store on your iPhone
- Click the search icon on the bottom of the screen
- Type ‘Facebook Messenger’ or ‘Facebook Messenger App’ in the search bar
- Select ‘Get’ or the download icon for Facebook Messenger
- When the app finishes downloading, open it form your home screen
- Log in using your Facebook credentials
- Select the person you’d like to video chat with, or type their name into the search field if you don’t have an active chat with them
- Select the video icon from the top of the screen
Many people prefer Facebook Messenger for mobile because it has a lot of interesting features you won’t find on the web. There are special effects you can add to the chat, and masks that track your face and add the mask to you in-real time. It makes the whole experience a lot of fun!
Some people like to record their screen or take screenshots while in a chat, too. Rather than let those moments slip by, they preserve them for sharing later on.
The problem here is your pics may not be backed up. While Apple’s Photos app does a good job of organizing images, the company’s iCloud system only offers up 5GB free storage for users. If you don’t pay, chances are you could lose a lot of images, especially because Apple uses your iCloud storage for iPhone backups.
We suggest using AnyTrans for iOS if you’re using Facebook for video chats and take screenshots or recording your chats. The app picks up where iTunes left off, offering native backups of your iOS devices onto your Mac. With the app, you can sync data from your iPhone to a Mac with ease. It’s especially handy for backing up and storing photos and video, particularly if you don’t pay for (or trust) iCloud. We also like it for those who offload their pics and video to an external storage device. Transferring to a Mac before using an external drive is far easier than fussing with supported drives and dongles on iPhone.
When you’re ready to back files up from your iPhone to the Mac, simply open the app on your Mac and plug your iPhone into the Mac using a Lightning cable. The app will walk you through the rest, including initiating the backup sequence.
How to Use Facebook Group Video Chat on Mac
We know how to Facebook video chat on Mac via the browser, but did you know you can also chat with groups? This is done via the Facebook Messenger app for Mac; we’ve already laid out a lot of great reasons why you should download Messenger for Mac, so please do give that a read.
Download Facebook Messenger App on Mac
Now that we’ve told you how to video chat on Facebook, here’s how to download Facebook Messenger for Mac:
- Go to Facebook Messenger in the App Store
- Select ‘Get’ or the download link in the top right corner of the app’s landing page
That’s it! Now you’ve downloaded the native Facebook Messenger app for Mac. There are a few good reasons to use the desktop app. First, it’s native to your Mac, and has a really handy dark mode. Second, it’s a better experience for group calls!
Reasons to Use Facebook Video Chat for Group Calls
There are a lot of great reasons to use Facebook or Messenger video chats for group calls:
- Facebook is ubiquitous. Though not everyone has Facebook, most do, and it makes video chats much easier. You don’t have to ask anyone to download an app or sign up for a profile just to chat.
- Group calls are better. As we mentioned before, many of us use Facebook to keep up with family or friends who are spread out across the globe. Since everyone is on Facebook anyway, starting a group chat is much easier.
- It’s good for work, too. If your colleagues don’t want to use Skype, Zoom, or a Slack plugin, Facebook video chats are an easy way to accomplish group calls without adding another app you’ll rarely use.
- You don’t need a profile. Anyone can join a group chat from the web. So long as they have the link to the group chat, they can join the group call!
- It’s a good way to party while social distancing. Friends and family can eat, drink, and enjoy as normal an experience as possible in a group video chat or room. It’s an awesome way to keep the conversation and good times going without trying to organize an in-person get-together.
Many people like to capture the moment in group chats. Our favorite app for this is Capto, a screen recording app that is native to your Mac. It allows you to capture a portion of the screen, which you can limit to your group chat window while you do other things.
After capturing the moment with Capto, the app has some awesome editing features. You can edit the entire video if you like, or create snippets of video from a larger recording. Those snippets can be turned into GIFs later on if you like, or spliced with other snippets right in Capto.
Capto also takes screenshots, which you can annotate with drawings, text, thought bubbles, and many other handy tools.
When you’re ready to share your video or screenshots, Capto works with popular platforms like YouTube and Evernote. If you’d like to share your video or screenshots in social media, or in chats on other platforms, we suggest using IM+ for Mac.
IM+ is a great aggregator tool for social media chat services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, and others. When you need to share a video or screenshot from Capto, IM+ makes short work of sharing to chats on various platforms. The app allows you to switch services with a few clicks, and keeps you up to date on who replies or likes your messages!
All of the apps mentioned here – AnyTrans, IM+, Capto, WiFi Explorer, and NetSpot – add to your video chat experience. They help you optimize your stream, capture moments, save media, and share them across social channels and chats.
Best of all, they’re all free as part of a seven-day trial of Setapp, the leading suite of productivity software for the Mac. In addition to these four apps, you’ll gain unlimited access to dozens of other incredible apps in Setapp’s catalog.
When your week-long trial ends, Setapp is only $9.99 per month, or $8.99 per month if you prepay for a full year’s access. Families will enjoy Setapp’s $19.99 per month plan, granting unlimited access to the full Setapp catalog on up to four Macs. Give Setapp a try today!