Here at TinderPoint, we’ve noticed that Autumn is the time for new apps to come onto the market, from the likes of Ello, to Inbox by Gmail, and now another new talking point: Facebook recently released their new social media app for iOS, called ‘Rooms‘.
Inspired by the early web forum communities, combined with the modern-day capabilities of smartphones, Rooms lets you create places for the things you’re interested in, and invite others who are interested too.
A Room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not massively different from the type of feed you’d be accustomed to on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whomever originally created the room. The topics featured in these rooms could be about anything and everything; from travel photos to break-dancing, from dress-making to photos of meals.
The choice of what to create and with whom you decide to interact is entirely yours. Thanks to it being fully customisable, the user feels completely in control.
Thanks to the app’s smooth design, setting up an account and a room on Rooms is very quick and easy. A QR code is needed to gain access, but unlike other new social media platforms, Rooms gives you an invite if you haven’t received one from someone else.
Once you have that, you’ll be asked to provide your email address, which will receive a validation code from Rooms. Surprisingly, Rooms does not connect at all with your Facebook profile (assuming you have one) nor does it allow you to import contacts. You can, however, share invites by sending a QR code via email, by posting it on social media, or by iMessage.
Posting to other rooms is quick and easy, and it seems that while certain restrictions can be put in place when creating a room (18+ only, post approval before publishing, etc.) rooms are easy to enter and submit content into.
Despite Rooms having been released only a short while ago, and in spite of its decent level of potential, there is already some controversy surrounding the new social app. According to 9to5mac.com, a company with a very similar app called ‘Room’ (note the singular, as opposed to Facebook’s plural) has claimed that the social media giant has copied their intellectual property, and are “debating legal action”.
Damien Rottemberg, CTO & Co-Founder of ‘Room’ said in a statement:
“We don’t understand how Facebook, with all their lawyers, could have released an app with the same name and features. We won’t let this happen and we want to defend all entrepreneurs with great ideas and great visions”.
Here’s the main question for us, and quite possibly for you: Will Rooms be of any benefit or use to social media marketing? While it may be too early to be optimistic – Rooms was only released on October 23 – the marketing potential behind Rooms is notable, because it instantly comes across as a mixture between Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. That being said, it may take a while to build momentum, the team at Facebook have explained that they want to develop Rooms slowly, in the hopes of ensuring its success.
For example, content marketing could be quite possible if one wished to promote a restaurant in an ‘Italian cuisine’ room, or a new clothing range in a ‘Fall Fashions’ room. This would make Rooms very similar to how Pinterest is currently used by marketing agencies.
Whether it takes off or not, especially considering a potential lawsuit on the horizon, remains to be seen.