Facebook Releases Forum-Like App, Rooms

Facebook has been expanding its empire, slowly but surely. But not all it’s efforts to expand go as well as it hopes. It tried to clone, buy and create a pseudo Snapchat – all to no avail, so now it has moved on to something it hopes is even better. Facebook has just released its newest app, Rooms – tiny message boards for posting text, photos, and videos.

In each ‘room’ you will be able to create new usernames, post messages, comment – all amongst friends or strangers – about any topic that pleases you from knitting to cooking to your love for pugs.

Just like regular forums, you can set some ground rules for posting, boot bad members, set restrictions (like age), moderators and pin posts. You can also set a theme and wallpaper and even alter the ‘like’ button to say something else. And perhaps the best thing (to me anyway), Rooms has no connection to Facebook or your Facebook friends. Which might seem like its an anonymous service, but don’t mistake it to be one! This is not an anonymous service. This is however an app to build an identity outside of Facebook.

To join a room one has to be invited to join using a QR code. It all seems like a little too much trouble. In order to invite people, you have to generate a QR code by tapping ‘invite’ which you can then email/text to the person you want to join. When you save this code to your camera roll, Rooms app will automatically detect it the next time you open the app and add you to the appropriate room.

This is because Rooms asks to access your camera roll when you join. Every time you open Rooms it scans your camera roll to see if you have any new QR codes so that it can add you to new rooms.

This could either be another level of noise that we have to wade through, or a good way to connect with people with the same interest. Either way, it’s still in its early stages and only time will tell if it rises as a great way to find a tribe or just another app we have to block from our lives. So far the app appears to only be available in the US.

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