In one form or another, Facebook has been bringing existing social groups together online for over 10 years, and has so far shied away from user anonymity. Its new app is the very opposite. Rooms harks back to the golden age of internet forums, connecting people based on interest and allowing users to post with made-up guises.
According to Facebook, Rooms is inspired by the ethos of early web communities. In contrast, though, it is accessible via app only, actually operating outside of the existing Facebook platform. It allows users to create online places for discussion about any topic they choose, naming the "room" accordingly. An early example is the "Kicks From Above" room, which "showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places."
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Rooms are said to be highly customizable, with member permissions and theme aspects all controllable by the creator of a room. Users, meanwhile, are able to post text, images and videos to rooms and can post under a nickname of their choosing. Nicknames can be different for each room of which a user is a member.
Facebook says it will continue to develop Rooms, working initially with a small set of community builders. The app is available to download now for iOS.