Facebook is attempting to rekindle some of the magic of the Internet’s early era in the form of Rooms, a social app for people who have common interests but may not know each other in real life.
The new app is the latest release from Facebook Creative Labs, the division that also created Paper, Slingshot and Mentions.
In a statement released today, the company said Rooms was inspired by the Internet’s early role as a virtual “third place,” away from home and work, where people without geographical or social bonds could find others with common interests in forums, message boards or chatrooms and exchange ideas.
As rumored, the app will allow users to use aliases instead of their real names. Users can even have different identities for different Rooms.
Users can create Rooms for any topic. Examples of early Rooms include dedicated threads for beatboxing videos, home-cooked meals, and cool shoes in cool locations.
Users can also customize texts and emojis, create pinned messages and add a cover photo. Creators can customize user settings such as deciding whether or not to allow links to outside content.
Rooms is currently available on iOS.