The previous experience in Facebook to simulate semi-anonymous social network based on people’s interests. The standalone application they tested was called Rooms but unfortunately, it failed big time. Since Facebook is fully aware that failure means you need to try again, they have now added a new feature in Messenger called “Rooms” (No surprises yeah). The feature rollout already started on a limited scale in selected markets to test if Messenger could handle a wider and more public chats based on people’s interests and chosen topics.
Buried in Messenger’s iOS app’s source code are multiple references to the feature, with some explanation of how it works.
The code explains: “Introducing rooms”, “Rooms are for public conversations about topics and interests.
Each room has a link that can be shared so anyone on Messenger can join the conversation”. You can apparently start your own Rooms as well. The blue circle image above is listed as a Rooms logo in the code (the darker background and illustration of a home is ours).
Using messenger users can do the following:
- create their own Rooms
- invite members
- approve new members
- set a nickname for themselves
- configure notifications
- and more.
According to Facebook’s explanation of Rooms at launch, as reported by The Courier Mail, the feature is different from group chats because it’s focused on chatting on specific topics with people you may or may not know. Group chats, meanwhile, are only generally joined by family and friends you do know. While Groups is great for threaded posts about a topic, although they don’t quite feel lively. Rooms could depict the fast-moving, fun conversations that once lived in the chat rooms of web 1.0.
It is crystal clear that Facebook wants to engage more users in Messenger. Rooms could unlock more engagement on Messenger about different topics. The feature will help Facebook reach a middle-ground between wide News Feed and private messaging. Rooms could become the Messenger counterpart to Facebook’s popular Groups feature that’s grown to see over 1 billion monthly active users.