Facebook is taking a page out of the early Internet’s playbook with a new feature aptly called Facebook Rooms. It’s sort of like the chat rooms of days gone by but with a social media twist the company hopes will attract its members to interact with the brand more through a mobile app.
Facebook product manager Josh Miller announced the new twist on an old innovation in a blog post. He pointed to what he called “one of the magical things” about the early days of the Web: connecting to people you might never run into in your everyday life.
“Inspired by both the ethos of these early Web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones, today we’re announcing Rooms, the latest app from Facebook Creative Labs,” Miller said. “Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re into, and invite others who are into them, too.”
Indeed, the early days of the Web were characterized by forums, message boards, chat rooms and other expressions of online meeting spaces for people who probably never met in person -- or lived in the same cities -- but had enough in common to share digital conversations.
While the Internet lets you be whoever you want to be -- some have called it the great business equalizer because everyone is on a level playing field -- Miller said people still need places that let them break away from the constraints of everyday life. But is there a business application for Rooms?
Brands can and will find a way to use just about any social media channel and Rooms is likely to be no different. Pinterest has emerged as a popular channel for fashion and food brands, as has Instagram. And it’s not just for advertising. Brand marketers have amassed millions of followers on social media accounts without spending a dime on advertising.
The question isn’t whether companies will use it to market their brands. The question is how effectively they can measure the results. Eighty-eight percent of companies believe social media is important to maintain a competitive edge, but a whopping 67 percent say it’s hard to assess how social media activities pan out, according to a CMO survey.
How it Works
So what exactly is a Facebook Room? Another expression of Facebook, essentially, with a little more privacy than your traditional group or newsfeed. Specifically, a room is a feed that includes photos, text and videos based on topics created by the originator of the room. According to Miller, early users are creating rooms on topics like beatboxing videos, parkour, photos of home-cooked meals and more.
“Not only are rooms dedicated to whatever you want, room creators can also control almost everything else about them,” Miller said. “Rooms is designed to be a flexible, creative tool. You can change the text and emoji on your like button, add a cover photo and dominant colors, create custom ‘pinned’ messages, customize member permissions, and even set whether or not people can link to your content on the Web.”
Posted: 2014-10-27 @ 10:10am PT
I'm amazed how people spend their time.