If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of our App of the Week, its probably because it came out yesterday for iOS and Android (not for tablets). The social media platform Rooms was developed by Facebook to compete with other blog and forum sites similar to WordPress and Reddit.
What does it do?
Essentially, Rooms is an invite based forum network optimized for mobile devices. When you first download the app, all you need to put in is your email address. They do not ask for any other personal information. This may be a Facebook product but you DO NOT connect your Facebook account to use this service.
Rooms uses an invite service which takes advantage of mobile device UI. Basically, when a room is created, an image with a QR code and the name of your room is generated for you to send to friends or post on social media (depending on how you want your room to function). Once someone has access to an invite, they simply take a screenshot of the invite and Rooms will add you once you open the app OR you can take a picture of the invite using the “Invite” button located on the home screen.
Once you are in a room, a news feed of posts in chronological order are displayed. You can tap each post and start up a discussion on any topic pertaining to the room that you’re in. Rooms allows users to post text, pictures, and video.
So what does this mean for me?
Well, we’re not sure yet. I have been using the app for a little while now and I’d have to say it is very easy to use. Best case scenario, Facebook just developed an app which will conquer all social media platforms. This is because as long as you have an invite, you can engage in anonymous discussion with anyone in the world about whatever you got invited to talk about. On the other hand, it could end up like a lot of other failed Facebook apps and just disappear from the app store without anyone really feeling bad (Sorry Poke.)
I think this app has a ton of potential. In theory, Rooms can revolutionize the way you are social on your phone. But the best way for everyone to understand this app is if everyone participates in using it. This is why I created the Digital Shift in Libraries Room for anyone interested in talking about how libraries can use technology to better serve their patrons and the community. The invite is located at the bottom of this page. Download the app, take a picture of the invite (or screenshot it if you are on a mobile device), and lets start a discussion!