The Social Networking giant has taken a page off Yahoo’s book, and is starting off with Facebook Messenger Rooms.
These are essentially Facebook chatrooms, created around topics of mutual interest. The Yahoo Messenger did this quite successfully for over a decade, and this was one of the most appreciated features of the now defunct messenger. However, Facebook giving this a shot is already creating waves of excitement in the markets.
Facebook Rooms isn’t even really that new to Facebook in fact. For long, Facebook has tried experimenting with the idea of anonymous messaging among users with similar interests. Facebook Rooms as a standalone app was introduced in 2014 and killed off back in December last year, but it is now reappearing as a part of Messenger. Think of it like Reddit but capped at 250 participants (for now). Rooms can be private as well as public, and Facebook reserves the right to boot any undesirables out if they start playing up, because this is the internet after all.
Room users could share the links publicly to get people to join them. Group administrators would be able to remove the group members in case they are causing a disruption.
Stan Chudnovsky, the product head for Facebook Messenger comments that in the past users needed to create group chats and add people. Now with the Facebook Messenger Rooms, interested users would automatically find and join the rooms and engage in conversations. He also stated that Facebook has no plans to monetize the rooms as of now.
Messenger Rooms are currently being field tested in Canada and Australia, but assuming all goes well, the feature should roll out globally soon. There is currently no information on when Facebook plans to launch the ‘Rooms’ feature more widely
Given how popular certain dating apps have become, Facebook might be looking to cash in on the online dating platform with this. After all which dating app or website could possibly have a larger user base than Facebook.
Now I am not suggesting that is what Facebook will do, I highly doubt it, but it is a possibility and that is exactly what many people would obviously use it for. What is more obvious though is that if these messenger rooms are a hit, people will come back to the app and/or the website more often than they currently do, which is how Facebook earns.
So Facebook obviously wants you to engage more on its platform, but how do you feel about anonymous chatting over Facebook’s Messenger? If you’ve got access to Rooms I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.