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Facebook launches anonymous chatroom app called Rooms

The world’s biggest social network, Facebook, just launched a stand-alone app called Rooms, which wants to bring back the good old days of chat rooms, with a twist of modernity.

Designed by Facebook Creative Labs, Rooms is completely independent of its big blue parent. You don’t need a Facebook account to sign in for instance; you can make up your own pseudonym if you like.

When you sign-up to Rooms, you’re asked to create a new category (called “rooms”) — anything from Berlin Graffiti or Backpacking Through Asia to Online Dating to City Gardening. It’s almost like Reddit’s threads, but with more colour.

rooms-app

The brains behind this project, Josh Miller, explains the importance of the online freedom Rooms enables:

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.

“A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text — not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room,” explains Miller.

The creator of a room can customise the layout as they see fit. This means that they can choose whether or not the room should be public or exclusive, what the colour layout should be like and so on.

A nice addition, which edges it away from your run-of-the-mill chatroom app, is the fact that each room has its own QR code that can be shared online or off for others to join. A key, if you will, that looks like this:

rooms-key

A few months ago Facebook was slated when it started forcing people to use their real names on its platform, urging people to look for alternatives, such as the the anonymous social network Ello.

Rooms is only available for the iPhone, with no word yet on an Android release.

Author | Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More