Facebook is carried out Certain Experiment around semi-anonymous social networking centered around interests. This prompted the release of aa standalone app called Rooms, which was a failure. With Lessons Learnt, the experiment have now shoed up in Facebook’s Messenger application as a new feature called Rooms, which is rolling out now in select markets. The limited launch is meant to serve as a test to see if Facebook’s messaging platform could encourage broader, more public conversations focused on specific topics.
There were already hints that Facebook was planning to trial Rooms on Messenger in the near future. In September, code was discovered hidden in the Messenger app that referenced a feature by the same name, which also offered some explanation of how Rooms worked.
At the time, text found in the code stated that “rooms are for public conversations about topics and interests. Each Room has a link that can be shared so anyone on Messenger can join the conversation.”
Users could also create their own Rooms via the Messenger app, invite members, approve new members, set a nickname for themselves, configure notifications and more.
Facebook said then Rooms was a small test, but offered no further comment.
Now, Rooms is becoming available to a wider audience: Australia and Canada. These countries are often places where the social network trials new products because of their English-speaking user bases, before rolling out the feature to the U.S. and other international users.
According to Facebook’s explanation of Rooms at launch, the feature is different from group chats because it’s focused on chatting around specific topics with people you may or may not know. Group chats, meanwhile, are only generally joined by family and friends you do know.