Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has no shortage of ways to connect with others over all its properties. Messenger, and WhatsApp cover a great deal in this arena. Slingshot is quite good for group messages and Instagram is designed to share photos and have conversations anonymously. So it could be argued that Rooms is unnecessary but Facebook disagrees.
Facebook: The “old” Internet
Rooms is almost reminiscent of the bulletin boards (BBSs) of the past. It allows users to post text, movies in photos in common interest rooms either personally or anonymously (something that Facebook recently cracked down on to the chagrin of the LGBT community and others). Those rooms could concentrate on a sport, music genre, or just about anything. Rooms also allows mobile users to get more information on a single screen rather than adding more to the core Facebook App already filled with information.
Rooms is a product of one of Facebook’s most recent acquisitions, Branch. Branch was working on a website for those nostalgic for the days of Usenet.
Rooms is “a tool for empowering individuals,” said Josh Miller, project manager for Rooms who pitched the idea to Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook’s acquisition of Branch nearly a year ago.
“The reason people got excited about the Internet was because they realized, ‘Wow, I can find other common people to me,'” Miller recently said to reporters.
Don’t expect much content on “Day 1” which is fine with Miller who said, “If we grow too quickly it fails.” Additionally and from the outset, there will be a Room for both suggestions and complaints.
Somewhat surprisingly in this day and age, there is no search function in Rooms but will rely on users inviting users who gradually build a Room’s content by inviting others.
Rooms is almost the anti-Facebook and is presently only available on iOS. “We are a tool for making things, so your room brand should be ahead of ours,” he says. “There’s no Facebook icon or name here. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) let us, we’d let each room be a separate app.”