Facebook Goes '90s With Chat 'Rooms' App

Users choose their own names in anonymous iOS chat app
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2014 12:02 PM CDT
Facebook Goes '90s With Chat 'Rooms' App
This May 21, 2013 file photo shows an iPhone in Washington with Twitter, Facebook, and other apps.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Facebook's "anonymity" app is finally revealed, and as PC Magazine reports, it's "a throwback to the popular chat rooms of the mid-90s"—with a few modern updates. The Rooms app, currently available only for iPhone, lets users create rooms to chat about whatever interests them. Not only do users not have to use their real name, but they can choose different handles for different rooms (making it pseudonymous rather than anonymous). They also don't need to have a Facebook account to use Rooms, explains the Guardian. If you do have a Facebook account, the two will never interact, per Rooms' privacy statement.

As for how you get into a Room you haven't created, TechCrunch reports that each Room will have an individual QR Code that the creator can share—with just a few friends, or much more publicly. To keep trolls at bay, moderators have the ability to ban users. "Early users have already created rooms for everything from beat boxing videos to parkour to photos of home-cooked meals," a product manager explains in a blog post. "There's even a room called 'Kicks From Above' that showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places." People who create a room can add a cover photo, choose the room's colors, filter messages, and more. But like on Facebook, standard guidelines apply regarding abusive behavior or vulgar material, and Facebook can take down Rooms. An Android version is planned for early 2015. (More Facebook stories.)

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