By Nora Micheva, Product Manager, Messenger

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time together. Today we’re excited to make connecting with your friends in video chat even more fun – and competitive! – with multiplayer video chat AR games. You can play with up to six people at a time, making the gaming experience much more interactive and social.

With this feature starting to roll out today, you can challenge your friends around the world to two games: see who can hold a serious face the longest with “Don’t Smile”, or see who can better navigate their spaceship with “Asteroids Attack”. We’re planning to roll out more games in the coming weeks and months – including passing a beach ball back and forth with “Beach Bump” and a matching cat game with “Kitten Kraze” – so make sure to check back often!

To try these out yourself, make sure you have the latest version of Messenger. Open an existing conversation or find the person or group of people you’d like to chat with and tap the video icon on the upper right corner of the screen. Then simply tap the star button and select one of the AR games – the person or group you are video chatting with will get a notification indicating it’s time to get your game on.

People continue to discover video chat in Messenger, with over 17 billion video chats last year, twice as many as the year before. We hope this new experience – made possible by AR Studio – will help you create fun memories with the people you care about most, even when you can’t be together.