Facebook’s Creative Labs has a new iOS app called “Rooms,” which essentially allows users to create discussion rooms (mini forums) based on any topic they want. The app’s site says you’re able to “create a room for whatever you’re into;” examples include Pug Lovers, MakeupMastery, City Gardens, Street Style and more.
When a room is created, you can then customize the look and feel, including colors, emojis and even the cover photos; pinned messages can also be added by rooms creators, and you can even customize member permissions. And if you do decide to participate in a topic, you can pick whatever nickname (real or made up) you want, allowing you to stay anonymous (or as anonymous as possible in a social media app). Pictures, text and other media can be shared within a room; it just depends on what you feel like sharing or discussing.
“One of the things our team loves most about the Internet is its potential to let us be whoever we want to be,” Facebook explains in a blog post. “It doesn’t matter where you live, what you look like or how old you are—all of us are the same size and shape online. This can be liberating, but only if we have places that let us break away from the constraints of our everyday selves. We want the rooms you create to be freeing in this way.”
Think of this as Facebook’s way of making a much smaller and more mobile version of Reddit, where these little forums are essentially sub-Reddits. Concerning the anonymity, Facebook says you can create a nickname for different contexts, meaning in one room you can be Todd, and in the next you can be RoboTodd.
Facebook says that it wants people to create little communities that have the potential to grow into something huge. The social network is even inviting people to contact the Rooms team if they think their particular room is capable of becoming really popular. In the future, we’ll probably see rooms dedicated to Apple, Google, and specific video games pop up. But even if you’re not really into technology, you can create a room for whatever you want. Like one dedicated to the burritos, for example. Or one about cracking knuckles.
The app is currently available on iOS, with no word yet on a possible Android release.