Facebook's new Rooms app is all about anonymous chatter

Bringing anonymity back to the web

Rooms

Facebook has aimed to become the center of all internet conversations and its latest ploy to accomplish this goal is a new app called Rooms.

The Rooms app aspires to recreate the chat rooms and forum discussion boards of internet yore in which a community of like-minded users could talk about subjects through the anonymity of the web.

Rooms not only allows users to take on a pseudonym, it also doesn't require users to log in with their Facebook account or even an email address.

Once in the app, users can create discussion rooms dedicated to any topic, whether it's sharing photos of home cooked meals, parkour videos or the finer points of beat boxing.Through these rooms, users can communicate with photos, videos and text.

Talk amongst yourselves

If you're the owner of the room you can also customize the feel the room by adding a cover photo as well as changing the colors and text of the discussion board. Taking a page out of forums, the room administrator can also pin posts and assign users as moderators.

Joining a room, however, is slightly more complicated as invites are shared through a QR code. Unless the room has been set to public, the only way to join is to take a snapshot of the QR code invitation or if the owner sends you an invite message.

Rooms can also automatically access the iOS camera roll for unscanned QR codes and sign you into the corresponding rooms.

Freedom to be who you want to be

The team at Branch developed the Rooms app in Facebook's Creative Labs program after the social network acquired the company in January.

Branch's Josh Miller explained in a blog post he wanted to create a new internet space that allows everyone be whoever they want to be. "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," Miller wrote.

"From unique obsessions and unconventional hobbies, to personal finance and health-related issues - you can celebrate the sides of yourself that you don't always show to your friends," Miller expounded in the same blog post.

Jumping ship

Rooms is an interesting new development from Facebook as the app exists completely outside of the social network. Trending topics hasn't produced the intense community discussion in the same way as hashtags on Twitter, so Rooms appears to be a new strategy to creating user interaction.

Rooms is available for iOS in the App Store, though there are reports the app has become unavailable. We at TechRadar had problems downloading it, too.

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