Rooms: Facebook revives passions with a forum service on mobile

Facebook introduced tonight yet another new service: Rooms, a community discussion platform. It allows to create and join discussion groups, called salons (rooms), and share them texts, photos and videos under a pseudonym.

Rekindle passions

Rooms aims to revive the philosophy discussion groups, forums and chat rooms (IRC) of the old Internet. Because of Facebook, become hegemonic, many Internet users have abandoned or deserted specialized forums they attended. Rooms offers to exchange again among enthusiasts, without polluting streams friends of diverse and varied backgrounds.

Rooms must to the founder of Branch, a discussion of online service that Facebook acquired in January. Josh Miller is nostalgia of these forums where we met the people with whom we had no geographical or social connection, but with whom we shared areas of interest.

Private rooms and anonymity

It will however be more difficult on Rooms, based on private rooms that can not reach that using a code, necessarily traded in existing circles (friends, professional relationships, a specialized site). The lounges are not listed in a directory, at least not by Rooms and / or not at first.

Rooms essentially makes the same benefits as existing solutions, starting with the Facebook groups. But Rooms is totally uncorrelated to Facebook: creating a dedicated account, provide an email address (to retrieve his account) is optional, and we choose a user name (a pseudonym) independently for each room. The second distinctive point Rooms, compared to other services, particularly in relation to the reference Reddit is that this new mobile service is primarily, even exclusively mobile, at least for now. It is based on a dedicated application, available only on iOS at this stage, and it is unclear if he will one day be available on the Web.

An exclusively mobile platform

Rooms therefore probably not meet the same needs as sharp specialized forums and probably lend itself better to light topics of discussion, and / or brief exchanges. Compared to traditional forums, the platform also raises the issue of centralization. If it offers the essential functions of moderation forums, and notably allows to restrict seating to minors, it depends on the same “community standards” deemed prudish as Facebook, which does not prohibit nudity, but proscribing suggestive images and more alone pornography.

Rooms is available now on iOS, but exclusively on the US App Store or the other English-speaking countries. No information was given about the availability in the world and on other platforms.

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