Facebook Launches Standalone App “Rooms”

Facebook has launched a standalone app that lets users create a new mobile "room" where they can create a discussion on any topic.

Users create a name for the room and choose whom to invite and interact with, according to TechCrunch. Think of Rooms as forums inside "an Instagram-style vertical feed." What makes this a bit innovative is that Rooms doesn't require a Facebook account or an email address to sign up. Rooms are entered through a photo or screen shot a QR-code.

While there's no anonymity in Rooms, you can allow only certain people to enter -- likely people who enjoy science fiction, health or whatever topic you choose. It also isn't affiliated with Facebook contacts or its social graph. Moderators also can ban anyone and their devices permanently banned.

Rooms comes from Facebook's acqui-hire of Branch in January. The app is now available for iOS with Android coming in 2015.
Facebook has been working hard on its standalone apps to give Facebook users services that Facebook can't give -- a lot of control, anonymity and ephemeral messaging -- in hopes that they still keep coming back to the social network.
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