Anonymous App Facebook Rooms now available
It appears, at least according to a Mashable article a few hours ago that Facebook has moved forward with its plans to release the rumoured anonymous social app. ‘Rooms’ has now become available.
The idea behind this new anonymous based app is to take users back to the early days of web communities – which I remember well, allowing users to create places for things which they’re interested in. Once a ‘room’ is created you can then invite others who are into the same stuff you are, into them.
Now what is a ‘room’ I hear you ask…. Well according to the apps blog ‘a room is a feed of photos, videos and text with a topic determined by whoever created the room’. The creator of a room, eg ‘Wayne has Jedward style hair’ can control the room, customise the room’s look, text and emoji on your like button, as well as adding a cover image and other features. Rooms can be shared through invitations that look like QR Codes (who uses QR codes now?) – for example you take a picture of the QR invitation and the app scans the code and signs you into the room.
According to Facebook Creative Labs the app embraces anonymity, allowing users to sign in ‘with whatever name makes you feel most comfortable and proud’. It’s worth pointing out that the app is seemingly, completely separate from Facebook, meaning that it does not require users to have a Facebook account, and it does not allow users to import lists of friends. This approach towards an invitation process means that each room can be public or private. Invite codes can be posted anywhere online or shared among a chosen group of friends.
Facebook rooms gives options of privacy within permissions that include whether posts within the room can be discovered if searched. If the room is 18+ visitors do not need to confirm their age before entering the room.
My last blog post looked at Facebook releasing an anonymous based app and to be honest not much has changed.
Do I think Facebook should be entering this space? Of course not. Personally I think the internet and social media has changed a lot since the early days of the web. Trying to bring back some form of mid 90s nostalgia in the form of forums and message boards is just not going to work. The landscape has changed. So have the users of these communities.
We’ve seen too many times in the past the problems which arise out of how some users interact on anonymous based websites and chat apps. This is an area I feel Facebook could have left alone – it remains to be seen if this app will be used as it is intended to be, as Tech Crunch puts it provide a platform for ‘wide reaching active groups that could never live on facebook’ or if it will fall victim to widespread misuse like other anonymous based apps, many of which flood the market. While Facebooks normal guidelines will be in play it’s also still too soon to see from my initial interaction with the app, how the safety of users, particularly younger users viewing, posting and sharing inappropriate content, will be incorporated. (You can say you’re over 18. There is no check). Watch this space..