Old-School Chat Rooms And Discussion Boards Coming To Your Smartphone Thanks To Facebook’s ‘Rooms’ App

facebook roomsRemember discussion boards? Of course you do, they were these places on the internet where people could go and talk about specific topics. It was a way for people with similar interests to communicate over those interests with people all over the world and it seems as if Facebook is looking to bring it back. A new standalone app for discussion boards is being created by Facebook and is aimed at letting users talk about shared interests without having to actually use their real names.

Last week Facebook released the Rooms app, which it describes as an answer to the hype surrounding posting and sharing things online anonymously. People will be able to use any name they desire and do not need a Facebook account to access the app. In addition to that, the app also contains rooms discussing various topics, all of which require an invite link to enter. Providing an email address is totally optional and can be sued for having accessed rooms restored should you ever delete the app and re-download it.

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The app is currently only available on iOS and plans to release Rooms on Android or Windows Phone devices have not been disclosed. Anonymity is not the only focus of Rooms. With Rooms, Facebook hopes to provide a discussion board platform that allows users to chat about shared interests outside of their typical social circles.

According to a statement from Facebook about Rooms, “One of the magical things about the early days of the web was connecting to people who you would never encounter otherwise in your daily life.” However, the major thing here that will determine the success or failure of this app depends heavily on the number and diversity of the rooms created by its users along with whether or not the apps focus on visuals and photos registers well with users.

Rooms was developed as a part of Facebook’s Creative Labs project, which is responsible for the release of other standalone apps like Slingshot and Paper. Facebook is stressing that Rooms will allow users to create a unique identity separate from their Facebook account. According to Facebook, your name in the app could be “Wonder Woman” for all they care.

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Facebook did note that it may share information about Room users within the companies and services operated by Facebook, which includes Facebook itself, and other apps like Instagram and WhatsApp, according to the Terms of Service for the app. In addition to that, information users share on Rooms will never be posted to their Facebook account or vice versa, Facebook added.

SEE ALSO: Gmail Just Got A Lot Better With Google’s New App

Users gain access to rooms by taking pictures of QR codes with their smartphone. These codes may be provided by the app itself or by friends of users and could also be found anywhere else on the internet. Users can also store the QR codes in the camera rolls on their phones and then give the app permission to access their camera roll. At this time, there is no desktop version of the app, so users will not be able to fully experience what it was like in the early days of internet discussion boards and chat rooms.

Stay updated on Facebook Rooms with the Rooms Blog.

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