Reality Labs

Introducing new ways to connect with family and friends using Portal from Facebook

June 16, 2020

From effortless hands-free video calling to Spark AR-powered Story Time and more, Portal from Facebook helps us connect with the people who matter most, live in the moment, and make every day more entertaining and meaningful. Today, we’re sharing new features that make Portal more useful and fun than ever.*

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Messenger Rooms on Portal

Starting today, you can easily hang out with friends and family on video group calls with Messenger Rooms on Portal — shareable video chat links for up to 50 people make it easier to get together with others remotely. Host celebrations, gather a book club, or just hang out on the couch with friends. While in Messenger Rooms on Portal, you can entertain the crowd with AR effects and Story Time. And you don’t have to make a call and hope it’s a good time — anyone invited to a call can drop by at their convenience whether or not they have a Facebook account.

New backgrounds on calls

Distractions in the background? No problem. Blur your background or replace your background with a pre-selected image using “Portal Spaces” while on a Portal Messenger or Messenger Room call.  Portal Spaces immerses you in dynamic backdrops that change over time and make you feel like you are really there: travel inside a private jet as clouds pass the windows, kick back in a field of flowers that turns luminescent depending on the time of day or feel like you’re sitting on a tropical island as birds fly by. 

Go Live from Portal to Facebook Pages and Groups

You can also go Live from Portal to Facebook Pages and Groups using your Portal Mini, Portal, or Portal+ . Previously, the Facebook Live app on Portal let you broadcast to your personal profile, and you can now go Live to the community on your Facebook Pages and Groups.

Photo ops, AR effects, and new Story Time stories

Share photos from your phone using the Portal mobile app with friends and family while on a Messenger call. We’re also introducing new AR effects to keep you entertained while you’re on a call, including AR Virtual Cards, which allow you to send unique and immersive cards to celebrate special occasions. Later this month, we’ll be bringing two new Story Time stories to Portal including The Okay Book by Todd Parr and How To Eat Pizza by Jon Burgerman with more titles coming this summer.

Additional “Hey Portal” functionality

“Hey Portal” already lets you start a hands-free video call or get a morning briefing. In the coming weeks, we’ll add new “Hey Portal” functionality, including “Hey Portal” commands in British English and the ability to start WhatsApp calls**.

More to come

These are just the latest updates to Portal, and there’s more on the way. See for additional details about these features and more. To stay up to date, follow Portal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

*Product availability varies. Features, functionality, and content vary and may not be available on all Portal models or in all areas and languages. Some features may require a Facebook account and downloading the Portal mobile app. Requires wireless internet connection and Facebook or WhatsApp account. Screen images simulated. User experience may vary.

**“Hey Portal” voice command functionality currently available in English (US/Canada) only. When available, using "Hey Portal" commands for WhatsApp calling will only be available in English (US/Canada). WhatsApp video calling requires WhatsApp account.