Facebook released an app today for iOS devices called ‘Rooms.’ The devices are focused on delivering an experience to users that will feel familiar and new, all at once. The app is a chat app, which will bring the old-school, instant messenger, chat rooms back to life.
Don’t get lost in nostalgia though because the app is going to be taking on some new life of its own. Right now, the app is only available on iOS, but soon, the app is expected to be making its way over the Android, and that will go over with great excitement.
The app may be developed by Facebook Creative Labs, but don’t think that the app is linked to Facebook in any way just because it has such affiliation in development. In fact, the app will not require you to log in with any greater detail than an email address. This app comes after Facebook was dealt a lot of criticism for their requirements of using birth names, or legal names, as opposed to using aliases that many felt were a part of their identity, and right to privacy on Facebook. It just so happened that the individuals impacted by this so-called discrimination happened to also be drag queens.
The concept is simple in design. Login with unique credentials, and identify yourself before you head into a chat room. Users will not be forced to link anything to their Facebook profile, or associate any information other than what the company says they will collect and use internally to develop a better experience for the user.
Rooms will be generated by Facebook, but can be tweaked by users on an individual basis. When you head into different rooms, while it’s unclear right now how many names an individual will be able to have – or how long the name will live for, you will be able to chat within the guidelines of that particular room.
The anonymity is something that is widely applauded within the community, even though the app is still very new. Think of these as a new, and updated versions of what AOL chat rooms once were. Users could potentially have the ability to link their real name to the app, though right now it seems most users are sticking to the code of old, and creating unique usernames that are sometimes fun, and other times serious.
Another interesting tweak to this app is the fact that users will be able to share photos in addition to text. People are used to sharing text on chat features like this, but now, with platforms like Instagram, and Snapchat, being so photo-centric, it’s also important to integrate that portion of the business into this business venture as well for Facebook.
For many, this is simply a nice switch from the invasive, and oftentimes over-linked host of apps that are constantly trying to connect with your Facebook and other social networking profiles in an attempt to create more unity across the board. This app will give the user the ability to dictate when their information is out there, and when it is not.